Research

 

Biomechanics of brain aging

My research project relies on an original interdisciplinary approach to brain aging combining physical, biological and clinical approaches.

The objective is to use a physical model of the brain

  •  to interpret in vivo observations;
  •  to explore sub-millimeter phenomena that cannot be assessed by imaging alone;
  •  to extrapolate animal models observations up to human scale.

During brain aging we can observe modifications of the brain structure, micro-structure, mechanical properties and fluid dynamics. Modeling those processes should lead to better understand the underlying mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases and ultimately provide a new, outside-the-box diagnostic approach relevant for preventive strategies and patient follow up.

Ongoing Projects

project steps

2020

Modelling approach for the clinical assessment of brain biomechanics

The model of the coupling between the blood pulsatility and the cereborspinal fluid dynamics will be combined with machine learning techniques in order to provide a new interpretation of the infusion test. This test is a clinical protocol that allow assessing in vivo the brain biomechanical response. Our model will provide a more precise and robust interpretation of the test, which will be useful both in clinics and research investigations.

2019

Developement of a brain meso-scale model

As part of the ERC-funded BRAINMICROFLOW project (PI S. Lorthois), the coupling between the vascular system, the cerebrospinal fluid and the cerebral tissue is described at the mesoscale level with a network approach.

2018

Demonstration of the biomechanical approach relevence

A simplified model of the brain biomechanics was used to interpret data from a cohort of 100 patients. The brain biomechanical response was significantly (p<0.05) associated with an index of frailty (cognitive and physical impairment). This is a first evidence that brain biomechanical response could be a new marker of pathological brain aging [Vallet et al. , Journal of Neurology,accepted, to be published].

Host Institutions

I acknowledge the institutes that hosted my research and believed in the strong potential of the interdisciplinary approach of brain aging.

Funding opportunities for highrisk fundamental project in clinical research field are rare.

The results obtained are promising and I am constantly applying for new funding opportunities in order to pursue the project.