Navigation Links
NSF grant will aid Wayne State professors' mathematical modeling of fatty liver predictors
Date:1/19/2012

Detroit - Predicting problems in one of the body's most complex organs soon may become easier because of work being done by Wayne State University researchers.

Howard Matthew and Yinlun Huang, professors of chemical engineering and materials science, recently received a $550,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a mathematical model of liver metabolism that can be used to analyze and more effectively predict responses to possible treatments for hepatic steatosis, more commonly known as fatty liver.

The condition affects between 15 and 20 percent of the U.S. population and often is a precursor to more serious problems. Accumulation of fat droplets, or lipids, inside liver cells is a key characteristic in many of the organ's failure modes. Increased lipid accumulation is usually the first symptom to appear before a measurable dysfunction occurs.

Identifying the causes of fat accumulation, however, is difficult because of the complex nature of the liver, which is involved in making and redistributing metabolites for most tissues in the body. Additionally, a variety of mechanisms trigger liver dysfunctions.

Matthew and Huang's goal is to develop a mathematical model to analyze and optimally compute possible interventions for treating fatty livers. Their main approach assumes that cellular control of fat metabolism acts as an optimal feedback-control system, and that the liver is trying to maintain certain levels of metabolites to satisfy the needs of other tissues.

A mathematical model based on that principle, Matthew believes, could predict liver cell responses to stimuli. Their model would allow more accurate predictions of metabolic responses than the models currently in use. Such methods, which assume that a cell's objective is primarily to grow, tend to work better with simpler organisms like bacteria or yeast, but not so well with animal cells.

"By focusing on cells' rates of response to disturbances, we can actually achieve a better model with narrower levels of error associated with our predictions," Matthew said.

A preliminary model using cultured liver cells already has achieved some reasonably good results, he said. The current NSF award is geared toward refining that model and collecting more accurate dynamic data.

The team will use perfusion systems that allow researchers to maintain precise levels of metabolites outside cells and to change them instantaneously, looking at response rates of cells to disturbances. Fluorescent lipids will be used so researchers can detect which ones the cells are taking up and how fast they are being redistributed. The team then can model the nature of metabolites being distributed.

"We're looking for changes that occur in minutes to hours in order to refine the model," Matthew said. "The liver typically begins responding within minutes."

Researchers must ascertain the accuracy of prediction at the cellular level before moving to animals and beyond, he said.

"We want our model to predict with a limited amount of data in order to identify which areas might be the key differences between individuals," Matthew said. "That allows biologists and physicians to narrow their focus to particular areas and possibly screen particular enzymes as drug targets.

"Our long-term goal is to use these kinds of models to find out why different people respond to treatments in different ways, so that we can develop a personalized medicine approach to treating the liver or any other tissues."


'/>"/>
Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Childhood cancer research grant awarded to the Research Institute at Nationwide Childrens Hospital
2. Wayne State receives DOD grant; study may give insight to slow or halt breast cancer
3. Autism Speaks awards 47 new research grants funding
4. Boston University researcher awarded 2 NIH grants
5. Emory and US CDC partner to continue building global public health network with $6 million grant
6. UW Medical Center granted magnet status for excellence in nursing care
7. RI Hospital receives $1.5 million grant to study treatments for body dysmorphic disorder
8. University of Kentucky researchers awarded CDC grant to study cancer survival in Appalachia
9. Kessler Foundation receives grant to study cognitive reserve in traumatic brain injury
10. Kessler Foundation receives grants to study health disparities in people with disabilities
11. $3.8 million grant investigates link between sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... Ga (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... as soon after surgery as possible. With this in mind, SIGVARIS has created ... (DVT or blood clot) during bed rest and provide the benefits of graduated ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Dickinson Insurance and Financial Services, ... Little Rock, has initiated a charity drive to provide support and funding to ... Senior Hunger, Arkansas ranks first in senior hunger statewide, third in child hunger, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... serve communities in and around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, is announcing a ... , The mission of the Homeless Youth Connection is to promote community awareness ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... financial consulting services to residential and commercial clients in the northern Alabama and ... for Nobis Works. , Since 1977, Nobis Works has built a network of ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... will have the unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in an emergency medical ... an immersive experience to gain invaluable, real-life medical skills that are critical success ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... KEY FINDINGS ... Patient warming and cooling devices offer several ... the risks of neurological disorders post cardiac arrests, rapid recovery ... systems can be segmented into convective warming system, surface warming ... stay at hospitals thus, lowering the healthcare costs by enhancing ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Global Interventional Radiology Market: ... global interventional radiology market analyzes the current and ... an elaborate executive summary, including a market snapshot ... sub-segments. The research is a combination of ... bulk of our research efforts along with information ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... of the market in 2016 and is expected to ... attributed to a large number of surgical procedures that ... largest share in the patient temperature management market.) Patient ... reducing loss of blood during surgeries, lowering the risks ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: