Dr. Uri Nevo, TAU
The brain is a complex and dynamic network of inter-connected cells. The function or dis-function of the brain is defined by electrical and chemical events. In the last two decades it was discovered that damage to the brain, as in the case of stroke, is followed by an immediate reduction in the displacement of water in brain cells. Oddly, the same phenomenon of reduced water displacement is indicative of enhanced brain function. Most biophysical models of this phenomenon link it to cellular swelling, but fail to predict or contradict many related observations.
My research aims to find the biophysical basis of these changes in water displacement. My research hypothesis is that neuronal function has a significant, yet unknown, mechanical dimension. Specifically we study how brain function, or damage to the brain, affect the intra-cellular gel (thereby affecting diffusion). We also try to quantify the significance of active mechanisms of water displacement inside neurons. In the coming lecture I will review the field and will present our theoretical biophysical works and our experiments in which we probe to the chemical and mechanical sides of the brain using NMR, MRI and microscopy.
Organizer: Alexander Gerber