Multiscale Musculoskeletal Simulations Reveal Novel Insights in Neurophysiology and Neuromuscular Disorders

01/28/2019 - 3:00pm
Xiao Hu, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia
Communicore, C1-17

There are over 600 skeletal muscles within our body for various functions, ranging from fine motor tasks, like writing, to daily locomotion, like walking and running. Therefore, when muscle function is compromised in a wide range of neuromusculoskeletal disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, the consequences are devastating. However, even with the state-of-art techniques, it remains extremely hard to elucidate muscle function in vivo from experiments alone, therefore impeding the development of effective treatments. In the past two decades, multiscale musculoskeletal modeling and simulation, ranging from whole body movement to tissue deformation, have emerged as a critical tool to provide novel insights of muscle function in vivo. In this talk, I will present several examples to illustrate how multiscale musculoskeletal modeling and simulation have advanced our understanding of muscle function in fundamental neurophysiology and neuromusculoskeletal disorders. These examples range from static postural tasks to dynamic movement, and from humans to rodents, representing the applications of multiscale musculoskeletal modeling and simulation in a wide range of research areas (e.g. neurophysiology, muscular dystrophy, tissue engineering) that involve various species (e.g. human, mouse, rat). I will also discuss the great potentials of future personalized multiscale musculoskeletal modeling and simulation in revealing pathology, guiding treatment planning and predicting treatment outcome.

Short Bio:
Dr. Xiao Hu obtained his PhD from the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Northwestern University, where he was co-advised by Drs. Eric Perreault and Wendy Murray. Currently, he is a postdoctoral research associate in the Multiscale Muscle Mechanophysiology lab at the University of Virginia, mentored by Dr. Silvia Blemker. Muscle has always been the central theme of his research. Through his career, Dr. Hu have applied multiscale musculoskeletal modeling and simulation to reveal novel insights of muscle in neurophysiology, the focus of his PhD work, and neuromusculoskeletal disorders, the focus of his postdoctoral work. He has authored an NIH grant to fund his work in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and received the Visiting Scholarship from the National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research and the Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship from the Engineering School at the University of Virginia.

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