Student projects

Atlas of the parenchymal micro-structure

The overall goal of this research is to better understand the fundamental mechanical processes underlying the onset and progression of normal pressure hydrocephalus, with ultimate goal of improving patient diagnosis, monitoring and treatment.

Current work concentrates on the development of a multi-scale computational model of the brain, wherein we explicitly model the mechanics at the micro-scale to obtain the macro-scale deformations of the parenchyma.

The local properties of the brain parenchyma are tightly related to the arrangement and properties of the neuronal fibers and surrounding cellular structures.

The objective of this Master’s project is to construct an atlas of the brain’s microstructure using available literature data and determine a strategy to gather missing information. Information of interest includes cellular types, density and spatial organization in different regions of the brain, mechanical properties, and structural differences between normal and hydrocephalic brains. Depending on interest, this project could be purely literature-based or include a design and modeling component to investigate the relationship between local cellular structure and global mechanical behavior.

The Master’s thesis, finished in August 2014, reviews the literature that is available to date on the microstructure of the human brain. Considering both anatomical and mechanical properties, it should be seen as a first attempt to provide a global characterization of the human brain’s microstructure.


Supervisor: de Zelicourt, Diane, Ph.D.
Area: Biomechanics of the Brain
Number of applicants: 1
Duration: 1 year
Start: August 2013
End: August 2014