Nonlinear Science & Mathematical Physics and Soft Condensed Matter & Physics of Living Systems Seminar
November 26, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Marcus Nanotechnology Building
University of Rochester
The human brain accounts for just 2% of the body's mass but metabolizes 25% of its calories, producing significant metabolic waste. However, waste buildup links to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The brain removes waste via the recently-discovered glymphatic system, a combination of spaces and channels through which cerebrospinal fluid flows to sweep away toxins like amyloid-beta. With an interdisciplinary group of neuroscientists and physical scientists, I study the physical processes of the glymphatic system: Where does fluid flow, and how fast? What drives flow? Does flow shear cause waste accumulation? How can we improve waste removal? Can we use glymphatic flow to deliver drugs? The team combines physics tools like particle tracking and newly-invented front tracking with biological tools like two-photon imaging through cranial windows in order to address these questions with in vivo flow measurements. I will talk about recent results showing that glymphatic flow pulses with the heart, is driven by artery walls, and can be manipulated by changing the wall motion.