Damage of the brain may be caused by mechanical loads such as penetration, blunt force, shock loading from blast, and by chemical imbalances due to neurological diseases and aging that trigger not only neuronal degeneration but also changes in the mechanical properties of brain tissue. An understanding of the interconnected nature of the electro-chemo-mechanical processes that result in brain damage and ultimately loss of functionality is currently lacking. While modern mathematical models that focus on how to link brain mechanics to its biochemistry are essential in enhancing our understanding of brain science, the lack of experimental data required by these models as well as the complexity of the corresponding computations render these models hard to use in clinical applications. In this paper we propose a unified variational framework for the modeling of neuronal electromechanics. We introduce a constrained Lagrangian formulation that takes into account Newton's law of motion of a linear viscoelastic Kelvin–Voigt solid-state neuron as well as the classic Hodgkin–Huxley equations of the electronic neuron. The system of differential equations describing neuronal electromechanics is obtained by applying Hamilton's principle. Numerical simulations of possible damage dynamics in neurons will be presented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience