Abstract: How the brain develops from a smooth surface at early weeks of gestation to a wrinkled surface with sulci and gyri at the neonatal stage is still one mystery to be solved. Despite the availability of several confronting theories, the lack of large data at different stages and limitations in computational resources have made difficult the development of mechanical models of brain development to better understand and test different hypothesis about the most relevant factors guiding this process. An additional challenge is to work with typical finite element meshes (FEM) in this application due to the large deformations undergone in brain development that can easily degenerate mesh elements preventing simulation convergence. The main goal of this project is to adapt a meshless mechanical model we develop for cardiac applications to simulate brain development and compare to our current FEM-based implementations.
Supervisors: Mireia Alenyà, Oscar Camara