Interdisciplinary Research Talk Series
by students & for students

Speaker: Joel Lefever (’12)

Date: November 9, 2011

Time and Place: 12:15pm; Hugel 100

Title: Development of a Biomechanical Model for Hydrocephalus

Advisers: Professor Joshua Smith (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering)


A mathematical model is proposed for acute hydrocephalus, a disease in which the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is impeded by an obstruction of the Sylvius aqueduct, leading to extreme expansion of the ventricles and damage to brain tissue. A three-dimensional representation of a human brain was created from magnetic resonance imagery. The brain is modeled as a biphasic medium consisting of solid (the cells) and fluid (the CSF) phases. Simulations will determine the ventricular fluid pressure necessary to cause the ventricle dilation associated with hydrocephalus. Results will show the regions of the brain that experience the largest stress, which may be used to predict tissue damage.

Sponsored by Lafayette Dean of The College, the Department of Computer Science, The Health and Life Science Program, and the National Science Foundation. Contact Person: Xiaoyan Li, Computer Science,, 610-330-5416