The above perspective opens up several research opportunities towards understanding the biomechanical aspects of the disease that must transform the medical science behind early diagnosis, disease monitoring and treatment strategies. Below are a few examples:
Smartphone App for Diagnosis and Disease Monitoring
So far, there exists no diagnostic test that can confirm Parkinson’s disease, although computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance images (MRI) of the brain, which usually appear normal in PD patients, are sometimes used to rule out other disorders that could give rise to similar symptoms. However, the Parkinsonian tremor, which as per the above perspective would be a limit-cycle oscillation due to delay-induced instability, has rich information for diagnosis that is yet unexploited in medical research. This lends itself into the idea of developing a smartphone application that can analyze tremor and related characteristics and quantify the state and progression of Parkinson’s disease using RT.
Multi-body Dynamics (MBD) based Simulation Model for Posture and Gait Control
一道本不卡免费高清Active neural feedback control is essential for humans to stand upright. This is obvious because a dead body cannot maintain an upright position. Sluggish reaction time (RT) in the above perspective tends to destabilize the control of upright posture resulting in a postural compromise that must lead to stooping. Simulations can provide quantitative insights on how the RT affects both the posture as well as gait. The simplest modeling efforts for simulating the dynamics of an upright posture can begin with an inverted pendulum. We are leveraging MBD software to develop a representation of human body with joints at a necessary level of sophistication for gait and posture simulations and a feedback neural controller using MATLAB Simulink or an equivalent tool.
Bending and twisting of biological filaments such as DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) are crucial to their biological functions. For example, as shown in Figure 1, activity of the genes in lac-operon is governed by the sequence-dependent looping behavior of its “non-coding” DNA segment (portion of DNA that does not contain genes). Understanding the nonlinear dynamics of these mechanical deformations and how they are caused within the intra-cellular environment provides for a promising foundation for futuristic medical inventions. In fact, this ambitious and scientifically rich research quest is best introduced by posing three fundamental questions:
There is however a very little effort towards the third question, which actually has the grassroots of the first two questions. We are investigating the third question by analyzing how the atomic configurations and interatomic interactions map into constitutive behaviors at continuum level, i.e. into the restoring effects or “springiness” of the filament in bending and twisting. Since a first-principles derivation of the constitutive law from an atomistic-level structure and interactions is often impractical and so are direct experimental measurements due to the small length-scales, we are developing an “inverse rod model” to estimate the constitutive law from high-fidelity discrete-structure simulations such as molecular-dynamics (MD) simulations.
Animation at right depicts the torsional buckling of a filament simulated from our computational rod model.
This research is being led by Dr. Sachin Goyal's Group.