Applied Math-Physically-based modeling for a virtual laboratory in Science and Engineering

Title: Physically-based modeling for a virtual laboratory in Science and Engineering

Speaker:Giovanna Guidoboni, PhD
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Missouri
Professor of Mathematics, University of Missouri
Adjunct Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology, Indiana University School of Medicine

Date and Time:Tuesday, November 19, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Place: Rome 771

Abstract:  Physically-based models combine fundamental principles of physics, engineering, mathematics and scientific computing to provide qualitative and quantitative assessments of the mechanisms governing the behavior of complex systems. The utilization of physically-based models to study living systems helps disentangle the interaction among coexisting (often competing) factors that is not possible to single out in experimental and clinical studies. Thus, physically-based models can serve as a virtual laboratory where multiple scenarios can be simulated, conjectures can be tested and new hypotheses can be formulated. This talk will present two particular applications of physically-based models. The first application aims at quantifying the factors influencing ocular hemodynamics, whose alterations have been associated with diseases of the eye (e.g. age-related hemodynamics, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy) and beyond (e.g. neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes and hypertension). We will show how physically-based models allowed us to characterize hemodynamic changes due to alterations in intraocular pressure (IOP) and to quantify how these changes depend on the levels of blood pressure (BP) and vascular autoregulation (AR) of each individual. The knowledge on interacting factors gained via physically-based models can also be used as a guide for the statistical analysis of clinical data for more informative outcomes, as shown by the Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Diseases study, where our theoretical predictions on the interplay between IOP and BP have been confirmed on nearly 10,000 people. The second, more recent, application aims at elucidating the cardiovascular mechanisms giving rise to the ballistocardiogram (BCG). BCG is a signal generated by the repetitive motion of the human body due to sudden ejection of blood into the great vessels with each heartbeat. Main cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension and congestive heart failure, have been shown to alter the BCG signal, which then yields a great potential for passive, noncontact monitoring of the cardiovascular status (e.g. through sensors positioned under the bed or on an armchair). One challenge in using the BCG waveform to track cardiovascular health changes is the lack of a standardized measurement device and protocol and, thus, the lack of uniform clinical interpretation of the BCG signal across the various sensing devices. In this talk, we will present preliminary results in this direction obtained by synergistically combining physically-based modeling and experimental data.