Title: Multiscale/multiphysics modeling: applications in ophthalmology and cardiology
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 characterizing changes in ocular hemodynamics due to alterations in intraocular pressure (IOP), 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 diseases, 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). Our work aims at standardizing BCG measurements in order to achieve a consistent clinical interpretation of the BCG signal across sensing devices.