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Exploring neurodegenerative disorders using a novel integrated model of cerebral transport: Initial results

Vardakis, JC; Chou, D; Guo, L; Ventikos, Y; (2020) Exploring neurodegenerative disorders using a novel integrated model of cerebral transport: Initial results. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine 10.1177/0954411920964630. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The neurovascular unit (NVU) underlines the complex and symbiotic relationship between brain cells and the cerebral vasculature, and dictates the need to consider both neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases under the same mechanistic umbrella. Importantly, unlike peripheral organs, the brain was thought not to contain a dedicated lymphatics system. The glymphatic system concept (a portmanteau of glia and lymphatic) has further emphasized the importance of cerebrospinal fluid transport and emphasized its role as a mechanism for waste removal from the central nervous system. In this work, we outline a novel multiporoelastic solver which is embedded within a high precision, subject specific workflow that allows for the co-existence of a multitude of interconnected compartments with varying properties (multiple-network poroelastic theory, or MPET), that allow for the physiologically accurate representation of perfused brain tissue. This novel numerical template is based on a six-compartment MPET system (6-MPET) and is implemented through an in-house finite element code. The latter utilises the specificity of a high throughput imaging pipeline (which has been extended to incorporate the regional variation of mechanical properties) and blood flow variability model developed as part of the VPH-DARE@IT research platform. To exemplify the capability of this large-scale consolidated pipeline, a cognitively healthy subject is used to acquire novel, biomechanistically inspired biomarkers relating to primary and derivative variables of the 6-MPET system. These biomarkers are shown to capture the sophisticated nature of the NVU and the glymphatic system, paving the way for a potential route in deconvoluting the complexity associated with the likely interdependence of neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. The present study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, that casts and implements the 6-MPET equations in a 3D anatomically accurate brain geometry.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring neurodegenerative disorders using a novel integrated model of cerebral transport: Initial results
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0954411920964630
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0954411920964630
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page
Keywords: Glymphatic system, multiple-network poroelastic theory, neurovascular unit, finite element method, Alzheimer’s disease
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10113658
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