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The ISBGroup Blog

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Here you can read about everything that's happening in the ISB Group.

Ph.D. defense by Nicolas Sundqvist: Modelling of cerebral metabolism

Uncategorised Posted on Fri, February 23, 2024 08:41:20

A central part of our digital twins, which underlies all apps in the STRATIF-AI project, are the models we have for the brain. So far these models have mostly focused on the neurovascular coupling (NVC). i.e. on the vascular response to neuronal activity. In our latest Ph.D. thesis “Mathematical Modelling of Cerebral Metabolism: From Ion Channels to Metabolic Fluxes”, which was defended by Dr Nicolas Sundqvist last Friday, we have taken these models to a higher level: to also include more detailed cerebral metabolism.

In the first paper, we use MRS data from humans to develop a small model for central metabolism, which is linked to our NVC models. In the second paper, we focus on cell-specific contributions, and show that inter-neurons might be the most dominant cell type in the NVC response; this puts much of the existing fMRI data into question. In the third paper, we present a detailed model for the most metabolically expensive process in neurons: the ion channels. Finally, in the fourth paper, we have developed a method for how to develop even more detailed intracellular flux models, using 13C-labelled media and a new approach to validation of intracellular flux models. 

Opponent was Dr João Duarte from Lund, and the examination committee consisted of Jeanette Hellgren Kotaleski (KTH), Arvind Kumar (KTH), and Katarina Nöh (Jülich Forschungscentrum).

Congratulations PhD Nicolas Sundqvist!

UX development workshop with visits from Z2 and Region Östergötland (RÖ)

Uncategorised Posted on Tue, February 20, 2024 09:05:40

During Feb 14 and 15, 2024, we at ISBgroup at Linköping University (LIU) had a few visitors, who joined us for an interactive 2-day workshop on UX-design for our stroke Prevention App development. The Prevention app is developed jointly between Linköping University (LiU) and Z2, as part of the STRATIF-AI Horizon-Europe project (, and it is meant for both primary and secondary stroke prevention. Primary prevention will be done in Region Västerbotten and Region Östergötland, and it involves a so-called Health Dialogue. A Health Dialogue is preceded by measurements of traditional risk factors (blood pressure, blood lipids, fasting glucose, etc), which are discussed together with e.g. a specialized nurse or a physiotherapist. Our app will use digital twins to help explain why a person should care about these risk factors, and how they can change their lifestyle (e.g. exercise more, eat less, take certain medications, etc), to improve the risk factors. Based on this information, the patient then sets some goals, to improve their lifestyle, to reduce one or several of the risk factors. These goals are then worked further on together with a coach and dedicated support-group. Also this subsequent coaching-period will be supported by the app, which thus provides a bridge between traditional healthcare actors, and those not normally integrated in healthcare: coaches, personal trainers, support groups. etc.

During the 2 days workshop, we did various role playing exercises, whiteboard and post-it note sketches, which then will be converted to Figma implementations, which then lead to new user tests, etc. From Z2, we have Jesper Fellenius, who has developed the backend for the personal data vault, where the data are stored, and who also has developed a prior prototype for a similar app, which we re-use. From LIU, we have Dr Gunnar Cedersund, Dr Dirk de Weerd, and M.Sc. student Greta Nilsson, who work with the app development. From Region Östergötland (RÖ), we have MD student Johanna Levander and MD specialist Valentin Kindesjö, who represent clinical needs. Apart from these, we also have Johan Holmsäter and Mats Janson, who represent Lev Skönare and coaching and wellbeing partners, who also are connected to STRATIF-AI.

Exceptional Half-Time Seminars: Meet Christian, Tilda, and Nicolas and Dive into Their Intriguing Research

Uncategorised Posted on Mon, May 08, 2023 08:14:00

Christian Simonsson

Titel: Mathematical modelling of diffuse liver disease

Opponents: Jan Boren and Matthias König

Date: 2023-03-01

Abstract: Christian has worked on constructing mathematical models in the context of NAFLD treatment and disease progression. One project has been focusing on creating a minimal mathematical model capable of simulating different dietary interventions, such low carb high fat diet (LCHF), and high fructose (HC) diets. To better understand treatment connection to changes in lipid fluxes. The second project has focused on determining liver function before hepatectomy, which is the only treatment option for HCC and liver metastasis. The two different projects have focused on each end of the NAFLD disease spectra, and the coming project will focus on modelling of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)

Tilda Herrgårdh 

Titel: Hybrid modelling for diabetes and stroke prevention

Opponents: Maria Kjellsson, Anna Nordström

Date: 2023-03-02

Abstract: The long-term goal that the thesis will be a part of is to have a tool for prevention of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, particularly stroke and its common precursor diabetes.  The plan is to use a digital twin and hybrid modelling. A digital twin can be used to make personalized predictions for different scenarios – lifestyle changes, diets, drugs, etc. – that can then be evaluated and compared. These predictions can include the long-term dynamics of different risk factors relevant for cardiovascular disease, such as BMI or fasting plasma glucose, or short term dynamics such as meal response glucose. These predictions can for example be used to understand the dynamics behind disease progression and to get continuous updated on progress of the changes made in real life, which can hopefully increase medical pedagogics and motivation. The long-term predictions of risk factors can be used in a hybrid modelling scheme as input in a machine learning model to get your risk score for having a stroke within a certain time span. The thesis covers the first steps towards, and a first example of the idea described above, as well as the development of models describing some of the different mechanisms relevant to diabetes and stroke progressions that can later be used in a comprehensive model of the entire progression. 

Nicolas Sundqvist

Titel: Systems modelling of human metabolism: Methods for 13C metabolic flux analysis and applications to the brain

Opponents: Elizabeth Klint, Dr. Katharina Nöh, Dr. Joao Duart

Date: 2023-01-17

Abstract: Nicolas has worked on constructing a mathematical model that can explain the mechanism that regulate the metabolism in the brain. This mathematical model explains what the cerebral metabolic response looks like in response neuronal activity induced by a visual stimulus. Furthermore, the work also includes how these mechanisms for the metabolic response connect to the mechanisms that of the neurovascular coupling. This work has resulted in a manuscript recently accepted for publication and will formed a base for future modelling endeavours. Additionally, Nicolas has worked with modelling intracellular metabolic fluxes using measurements of 13C isotope labels. A lot of this work have gone into method development for modelling stoichiometric models for 13C metabolic flux analysis (MFA) and has resulted in a publication where we present a method for validating such models when there is an uncertainty with respect to experimental measurement uncertainty. The plan for the continued work of Nicolas’ doctoral studies is to apply the methodologies for 13C MFA to a system for studying neurodegenerative diseases in neurological cell lines. As well as to investigate the mechanisms of the regulation of oxygen metabolism with respect to activity in different types of neuronal cells. 

CompBioMed Conference 2023: Munich, 12-14 September

Uncategorised Posted on Tue, April 11, 2023 08:58:00

CompBioMed Conference 2023 (CBMC23) will address all aspects of computational biomedicine, from genome through organ to whole human and population levels, embracing data driven, mechanistic modelling and simulation, machine learning and combinations thereof. This year Gunnar will is one of the Plenary Speakers and he will discuss physiologically based digital twins: a digital and interactive copy of yourself that follows you throughout your health journey.

You can read more about it HERE

Keynote lecture at the 7th VPH Summer School – Barcelona, June 5-9, 2023

Uncategorised Posted on Tue, April 04, 2023 07:33:00

Join the VPH (Virtual Physiologocal Human) summer school in Barcelona, June 5-9, 2023. This summer school includes 15 morning lectures, one honorary VPH lecture, and a lot of networking opportunities. Gunnar will talk about about the digital twins, so don’t miss it!

Last day to register is 21 of May, and you find more information HERE

M4-health and digital twins: bring a digital copy of yourself with you throughout your health journey 

Keynote Lecture, Wednesday June 7th, 2023, 09:30-11:00

Abstract: For the last 20 years, Cedersund has developed mechanistic mathematical models for all of the main organs in the human body: heart, liver, fat, brain, etc. Lately, these models have combined into an interconnected model for the body as a whole. This interconnected model can be made specifically for each individual, and is then called a digital twin. This digital twin technology employs a hybrid approach, which combines the mechanistic simulation models with machine learning and bioinformatics models. This allows a patient, doctor, or other end-user to look inside the body of a patient, as it is now, ranging from the whole-body to the intracellular level. This also allows for simulations of different future scenarios, ranging from ms to years, and can simulate e.g. the risk of a stroke, depending on choice of diets, exercise, and certain medications. The models are thus of an M4-nature: multi-level, multi-timescale, mechanistic, and multi-organ. The focus on this talk will be on how we systematically test mechanistically hypothesis on the intracellular and organ levels, using mechanistic modelling, optimization, and predictions with uncertainty – followed by corresponding model-designed experiments. I will also to some extent go through how we assemble the different organ sub-models together into the integrated digital twin, which in itself is a modelling problem, and how we then put all of this into a series of different eHealth apps.

BiosketcheGunnar Cedersund ( heads a cross-disciplinary research group at the Department of Biomedical Engineering (IMT) at Linköping University. The heart of this group (15+ people) does hybrid mathematical modelling, combining machine learning with mechanistic small- and large-scale models. These models are developed using both pre-clinical and experimental data of various types, which are collected both by experimentalists and clininicians within the same group, and by numerous collaborators. These models are made available for preventive and patient-centric care, as well as for drug development and medical pedagogics, using innovative eHealth technologies. This is made possible, e.g., via the fact that Cedersund heads the 6MEuro EU project STRATIF-AI, which brings his digital twins into healthcare for all phases of stroke (prevention, acute treatment, and rehabilitation), using a series of different apps, which all are connected to the same backend.

Digital twins to be tested in real health care environments

Uncategorised Posted on Mon, March 27, 2023 09:19:48

Digital twins will now be tested in real health care environments, in an EU-financed project. Gunnar is the project manager of STRATIF-AI, which has been granted SEK 65 million over a four-year period by Europe Horizon (the European Commission). The project is linked to stroke research, but the digital twins method is expected to have many different applications.

Read more about the project HERE

BME@LiU 2023 – Register Now

Uncategorised Posted on Mon, March 20, 2023 07:00:00

BME@LiU 2023 is a conference day filled with activities to highlight the research conducted at Linköping University (LiU) in the field of biomedical engineering (BME).

Biomedical Engineering, or MedTech, lies at the intersection of many of LiUs strength and strategic areas. It involves development of state-of-the-art technologies such as biosensors, medical imaging, AI, eHealth, visualization, with many applications in Life Sciences, e.g. circulatory and metabolic diseases, inflammation, neurological diseases and cancer.

BME@LiU is a day filled with activities related to the field of biomedical engineering. From invited and contributed talks, to posters, exhibitions, and mingling. These activities reach out to all researchers, companies, organizations, students and clinicians who support, contribute to, or utilize BME technologies.

If you would like to have an oral presentation, submit abstracts before March 27

BME@LiU 2023

When: April 20, 08.30 – 17.00

Where: Norra Entrén, Campus US and via Zoom

Read more and register here

Sign up: Workshop on Modelling in Biology and Medicine (MBM 2023)

Uncategorised Posted on Tue, March 07, 2023 13:39:24

Welcome to MBM 2023!  

We are pleased to invite you to our fourth Workshop on Modelling in Biology and Medicine (MBM 2023) on the 15-17th of May.  We aim to gather all young researchers in Sweden working on modelling of biological systems. Our ambition is to give all participating PhD students and Postdocs the opportunity to present their work through an oral presentation or a poster. Further, we wish to provide an insight into how modelling in biology and medicine is practiced in academia and industry.  

The workshop will be held in both plenary presentation sessions for larger talks as well as in smaller sessions for e.g. poster presentations. You can participate at MBM 2023 by  

  • giving a plenary talk,  
  • presenting a poster   
  • or simply as an observer  

The workshop will be in-person at Linköping University, Campus US. 

When: 15-17th of May 2023  
Where: Linköping 

Why: Bringing together young researchers in Sweden working on the border of mathematics, biology, and medicine  

How: Oral presentation, poster, or as an observer  
Abstract submission:, deadline 14th of April 
Register: Registration will open soon 

More information   

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