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Multiphysics of spinal cord injuries

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We use multiphysics models to study the spinal cord’s behavior under mechanical traumas of spinal cord injuries (SCI). The models include the fluid-structure interaction between the cord and the cerebrospinal fluid that protects it. In addition to the fluid-structure interaction of spinal cord injuries, the future multiphysics models will include electrophysiological changes and vascular injury that can cause ischemia and hemorrhages, both can lead to neurological dysfunction. The goals are to couple SCI biomechanics models at the organ scale with mechano-electrophysiological models and vascular fluid dynamics-oxygen transport models. The mechano-electrophysiological response models will couple the organ-scale mechanics with the action potential alterations that are a result of axonal injuries. Arterial injury and tissue oxygenation will be modeled as indicators of secondary neural damage processes. The relative contribution of each mechanism to the neural deficit will be evaluated. This study will provide fundamental knowledge about injury mechanisms, which will pave the way for overcoming the great challenge of pathology-specific SCI treatment.

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