As reductionist biomedical science succeeds in elucidating ever more detail at the molecular level, a mathematical modeling framework will become increasingly important to cope with this explosion of data and to relate integrated whole organ function to underlying biophysically detailed mechanisms that exploit this molecular knowledge. The proposed research has two primary long term objectives. The first is to continue development of an extensible anatomically and biophysically based modeling framework that can be used to integrate the physiological, anatomical and medical knowledge of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. The second objective is to focus this integrative modeling framework on three major diseases of the GI tract that affect a significant number of people in the United States, namely intestinal ischemia, diabetic gastro paresis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Prior research has shown that recordings of the magnetic field from gastrointestinal electrical activity using multichannel Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) magnetometers provides a noninvasive and noncontact assessment of the physiological state of the GI smooth muscle. We will combine multichannel SQUID and cutaneous electrode measurements with anatomically based integrative computer models to investigate the inter- and intra-subject effects of intestinal ischemia, gastro paresis and IBS on GI electrical activity noninvasively. We hypothesize that the resulting integration of anatomical and physiological biophysical properties will serve as a basis for a more complete understanding of the gastrointestinal system and will aid in the detection and diagnosis and, ultimately, in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. This is necessarily a collaborative project that initially involves five main groups (the Living State Physics Group at Vanderbilt University, the Department of Surgery at Vanderbilt University, the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada, the Enteric Neuroscience Program at Mayo Clinic and the Auckland Bioengineering Institute) and combines expertise in integrated biophysically based modeling with physiological, clinical and research expertise in the function of the gastrointestinal system

Public Health Relevance

Currently there are no non-invasive diagnostic procedures for assessing many electrophysiological GI disorders despite their prevalence. This project aims to investigate the bioelectromagnetic fields associated with three common gastrointestinal conditions that affect a significant proportion of the population: intestinal ischemia, gastro paresis and irritable bowel syndrome.
We aim to address significant gaps in our knowledge about each of these conditions and ultimately wish to develop a method to non-invasively determine underlying physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms of gastrointestinal electrical activity.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-U (92))
Program Officer
Hamilton, Frank A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Lees-Green, Rachel; Gibbons, Simon J; Farrugia, Gianrico et al. (2014) Computational modeling of anoctamin 1 calcium-activated chloride channels as pacemaker channels in interstitial cells of Cajal. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 306:G711-27
Gao, Jerry; Sathar, Shameer; O'Grady, Gregory et al. (2014) Developmental changes in postnatal murine intestinal interstitial cell of Cajal network structure and function. Ann Biomed Eng 42:1729-39
Bull, Simon H; O'Grady, Gregory; Du, Peng et al. (2014) A system and method for online high-resolution mapping of gastric slow-wave activity. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 61:2679-87
Means, Shawn A; Cheng, Leo K (2014) Mitochondrial calcium handling within the interstitial cells of Cajal. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 307:G107-21
Sathar, Shameer; Trew, Mark L; Du, Peng et al. (2014) A biophysically based finite-state machine model for analyzing gastric experimental entrainment and pacing recordings. Ann Biomed Eng 42:858-70
Dinning, P G; Wiklendt, L; Maslen, L et al. (2014) Quantification of in vivo colonic motor patterns in healthy humans before and after a meal revealed by high-resolution fiber-optic manometry. Neurogastroenterol Motil 26:1443-57
Paskaranandavadivel, Niranchan; Gao, Jerry; Du, Peng et al. (2014) Automated classification and identification of slow wave propagation patterns in gastric dysrhythmia. Ann Biomed Eng 42:177-92
O'Grady, Gregory; Wang, Tim H-H; Du, Peng et al. (2014) Recent progress in gastric arrhythmia: pathophysiology, clinical significance and future horizons. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 41:854-62
Du, Peng; O'Grady, Gregory; Gao, Jerry et al. (2013) Toward the virtual stomach: progress in multiscale modeling of gastric electrophysiology and motility. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med 5:481-93
Gao, Jerry; Du, Peng; O'Grady, Greg et al. (2013) Numerical metrics for automated quantification of interstitial cell of Cajal network structural properties. J R Soc Interface 10:20130421

Showing the most recent 10 out of 64 publications