Cellular Geometry and Tissue Organization in the Heart and the Brain

Friday, November 11, 2022 10:00to13:00
McConnell Engineering Building MC 321, 3480 rue University, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E9, CA
McGill University
School of Computer Science
Ph.D. Oral Defence
Speaker: Tabish Syed        
The study of the geometric organization of biological tissue has a rich history in the literature. The organization of cells into tissues and tissues into organs has traditionally been described in a qualitative manner. Such qualitative descriptions are largely a result of challenges associated with imaging and visualizing biological tissues as well as the lack of computational power to process large volumes of data. With advances in both imaging techniques and computational resources, many formerly speculative ideas can now be formalized, quantified and tested. In this thesis, we analyze the structure of biological tissue across multiple length scales, and develop tools and models for such analyses which are grounded in quantitative methods. Starting with the cellular organization of myocytes in the heart wall in part I at the micrometer scale, through confocal imaging of cleared intact tissue, we go down to the nanometer scale to look at organization of synapses around an astrocyte in the mouse brain, in Part II. We address long standing biological questions about the structure of an astrocyte and discover new tissue geometry in the heart and synaptic organization in the brain. These questions are examined using tools from differential geometry, advanced methods for image analysis, and formulations involving partial differential equations.
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