报告题目：Exploring the Mechanism of Brain Folding
报告人：Xianqiao Wang Associate Professor of College of Engineering
University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Biography of Xianqiao Wang: Dr. Xianqiao Wang now is an Associate Professor of College of Engineering and the director of the Computational Nano/Bio-Mechanics Laboratory at the University of Georgia (UGA). Before he joined the University of Georgia in August 2012, he was an Assistant Research Professor at the Georgia Washington University (GWU) after he got his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2011 from GWU. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in top international journals such as ACS Nano, Advanced Sciences, Nanoscale, Carbon, Brain Structure and Functions, Cerebral Cortex, etc. He was the recipient of 2017 International Conferences on Computational Methods (ICCM) Young Investigator Award and the recipient of 2018 College of Engineering Excellence in Instruction. Currently his work are funded by several NSF grants, and his research interests focus on the computational biomechanics, bio-inorganic interfaces, and multiscale brain modeling.
Recent years have witnessed the explosive growth of interests in the health-related research from all kinds of discipline perspectives. Given the greater complexity of biological problems and certain limitations of experimental investigations, computational modeling and simulation has been emerging as an indispensable and powerful tool to complement our experimental research at comparable length- and time-scale, or even to provide us a predictable capability for guiding material designs and disease diagnosis without the aid of experiments. Here I would like to combine an interesting health-related problem discussing the role of computational modeling and simulations in our daily research.
The most critical process in the healthy development of the human brain during the fetal stage is cerebral folding. Many studies have shown that knowledge of cortical folding is key to interpreting the normal development of the human brain during the early stages. During fetal development and especially during the third trimester the brain experiences significant growth, and morphs from a smooth state into a convoluted form which is closely similar to the adult brain. Cognitive or physiological difficulties and problems, e.g. epilepsy, retardation, autism and schizophrenia, are consequences of abnormal cortical folding in the fetal stage. In the first part of this talk, I would like to discuss that in additional to biological parameters mechanical properties such as the stiffness and growth speed of the cortex can play a crucial role in gyrification and normal development of the brain, thereby offering clues towards novel diagnostics and treatments of neurological disorders during early brain development.