Exciting times: Extreme modelling of excitable tissue (EMIx)

Our brains are composed of excitable intertangled tissue consisting of neurons, glial cells, interstitial space and blood vessels, featuring an intricate and unique interplay between ion and water movement, electrical activity, and cellular swelling. Mathematical modelling and simulation could unravel elusive mechanisms underlying these processes, but key theory and technology are lacking. In response, the EMIx ambition is to establish mathematical and technological foundations for detailed modelling and simulation of electrical, chemical and mechanical interplay between brain cells, allowing for pioneering in-silico studies of brain signalling, volume balance and clearance. We will pursue an interdisciplinary approach targeting research questions in applied mathematics, scientific computing, and glio- and neuroscience via mathematical and computational techniques leveraging experimental findings.

If successful, EMIx will introduce new mathematical frameworks for modelling electrical, chemical and mechanical interactions in detailed representations of excitable tissue via coupled mixed-dimensional partial differential equations. We will design and openly distribute numerical methods that allow for extreme high-resolution--high realism simulations of such models. We will create innovative in-silico platforms for studying neuronal-glialextracellular interactions at unprecedented detail and create new insight into the mechanisms underlying the role of the brain's star cells (astrocytes) in brain ion and volume balance. Ultimately, EMIx will provide a new avenue of investigation for understanding physiological processes in the brain underlying oedema and neurodegenerative diseases.


Scientific Computing



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