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Institute of Physiology

Research Projects

Computational modeling of the oxygenation of the renal cortex

The motivation of this study is to understand the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the oxygenation of the renal cortex and the delivery of oxygen into the renal parenchyma. Both hypoxia and hyperoxia could cause tissue damage and contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease. Kidney oxygenation is governed by the interplay between oxygen consumption, oxygen perfusion and counter-current oxygen diffusion between arterial and venous vasculature. The relationship between these three actors will be investigated through a realistic computational modeling of the oxygen transport in the renal cortex.

Modeling of amino acid transport across cell membrane

Homeostatic regulation of amino acids (AA) is complex and involves distribution of AAs between cells and tissues with numerous translocation steps across cellular membranes via transport proteins. AAs are taken up into epithelial cells via apical secondary active transporters from the lumen of small intestine and kidney proximal tubule and subsequently released in the extracellular fluid via another set of basolateral transporters. The interaction of several transporters (uniporters and antiporters) makes the AA transport dynamics rather complicated. In this project, we aim to develop a computational model to represent the AA transport dynamics across cell membranes. In collaboration with the Epithelial Transport Group, experiments will be performed on a Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system both for endogenously and exogenously expressed transporters. Experimental results will be used to characterize first the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system with the endogenously expressed transporters and then to characterize each exogenously expressed transporter-AA couple through the use of computational modeling. The ultimate goal is to create a simulation environment for the transport of AAs through cell membranes.

Development of an integrated numerical model of the intra-cranial space for clinical applications (DINUMA)

To improve diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), there is a need to understand the fundamental mechanical processes underlying the disease progression. The development of multi-scale simulation-based environments for biomedical applications is an emerging field, which holds great promises as a tool to explore in vivo fluid and structural mechanics to a level of details not achievable experimentally and under any desired conditions. Through this detailed understanding, we aim to define better monitoring and control strategies for NPH and TBI patients, thereby transferring our knowledge to the clinical and patient community. This model will address the key shortcomings of the current strategies, namely the lack of integration between structural and fluid components and the discrepancies between the parenchymal deformations under large or small strain rates.

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