PhD opening: Multi-scale modeling of muscle contraction - From stochastic dynamics of molecular motors to continuum mechanics, in interaction with experimental assays
Striated muscles (i.e. skeletal and cardiac muscles) are made of a multi-scale active biological material, capable of transforming metabolic energy into mechanical work. This thermodynamic conversion is performed by “molecular motors” operating at the nanometer scale.
Formulating theoretical models allowing to relate macroscopic mechanical work to thermodynamic properties of molecular motors is important with a view to proposing predictive simulation tools directly associated with biological tissue physiology, without resorting to ad hoc constitutive modeling.
Experimental validations of such models at the finest scales is possible with in-vitro mechanical assays on muscle fibers (mm scale) associated with optical techniques allowing to visualize the action of molecular motors.
At the macroscopic scale, medical imaging means are available to assess the deformations of tissues over time.
The main objective of this PhD will be to propose a model of molecular motors relevant in the context of cardiac modeling.
This model will rely on the formulation of stochastic differential equations describing the dynamics of these motors in the presence of mechano-chemical coupling.
We will also seek simplified versions of these stochastic models by considering asymptotic regimes (long time scales, thermodynamic limit, etc.).
An important part of the work will consist in confronting the model with experimental assays performed on cardiac muscles by collaborators in Florence University (Italy). Some form of co-supervision may be sought to strengthen the interactions between modeling and experiments.
- required proficiency in continuum mechanics
- familiarity with probabilities, stochastic processes and/or statistical physics appreciated
- motivation for the cardiac application, and for interacting with experimental assays
The PhD will take place in the M3DISIM team (joint team Inria - Ecole Polytechnique) on the campus of Ecole Polytechnique, in collaboration with Matthieu Caruel (Université Paris-Est Créteil).
Contacts / Applications
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Applications should be submitted online on the Paris-Saclay / ADUM system, but we recommend that you also contact us via the above email addresses to prepare your application.