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Human placentas, optimal transportation and autism

PDE and Applied Math Seminar

Speaker: Qinglan Xia, UC Davis
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Tue, Feb 25 2014, 3:10PM

The human newborn is the reflection of the sum total of oxygen and nutrients transferred from the maternal to the fetal circulation across the placenta during gestation. Many information (e.g. birth weight, newborn health, ..) may be hidden in the placentas. A mathematical study of placentas is challenging but rewarding. In this talk, I will describe a mathematical modeling of vascular structures of placentas using ramified optimal transportation technology. We quantify the effects of (i) placental size, (ii) placental shape (separate from size) and (iii) the position of insertion of the umbilical cord on birth weights and placental functional efficiency. We also introduce a mathematical formula relating birth weight, placenta weight and gestation days. In the end, we will use geometric data collected from human placentas to predict high risks of autism.