Discrete models of tissue mechanics - synthetic physiology lab @unipv

Francesco Pasqualini
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia
Wednesday 25th May 2022
Aula Saleri, MOX - Dipartimento di Matematica - Politecnico di Milano
Tissue engineers can build advanced replicas of human tissues for drug discovery, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine applications. Unfortunately, such replicas are mostly built by trial-and-error, since a computational framework to design tissue replicas from first principles is missing. Three key challenges remain to developing computer-aided tissue engineering. First, we don’t always know what biophysical problem we need to solve as biological first principles have not been fully encoded in mathematical terms, yet. Second, we can’t always use continuum approximation, as biological tissues combine discrete agents (cells) in multiscale systems capable of large, non-linear dynamics (e.g., deformation). And third, even when we can cast the problem in the form of equations that can be mathematically solved, these equations depend on biophysical parameters that are difficult to estimate from normal experiments. In this talk, I will show how we are tackling these challenges. I will review earlier results from my post-doctoral cardiac tissue engineering work at Harvard University and introduce a framework based on discrete particle dynamics for cell and tissue mechanics that we are developing in my ERC-funded lab at the University of Pavia. Contatto: pasqualeclaudio.africa@polimi.it