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VIrTual BrAin PErfusion: Assessing cerebrovascular function by High Performance Computing from 3D brain vessel network data for vascular-targeted drug development in neurodegenerative diseases.


Start Date
End Date
Total Funding
€ 149 738
Funding Programme
European Countries Involved

With the recent discovery that brain blood flow decreases — in a statistical and epidemiologic sense — before accumulation of neurotoxic deposits (e.g. amyloid and tau) and before any measurable cognitive deficits, the brain vascular system is increasingly recognized as a key player in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This opens the way for the development of new disease-modifying therapeutic strategies targeting vascular pathways at early stages of AD, i.e. long before the neurodegenerative process becomes established and symptomatic. The central idea of this POC proposal is that High Performance Computing (HPC) assessment of cerebrovascular function from quantitative vessel network data will tremendously accelerate vascular-targeted drug development for neurodegenerative brain diseases. One of the key outputs of the research conduced in the ERC Consolidator BrainMicroFlow is indeed a HPC platform for modeling blood flow, nutrient delivery and metabolic waste removal in large anatomical vessel networks of the brain. However, using this platform requires advanced and specific parallel programing skills, which are in general not available, neither in the research nor in the R&D industrial environments focused on Alzheimer Disease. Thus, our aims are 1/ to upgrade the technical specifications of this platform and to develop a user-friendly and versatile interface, documentation and support, to create a new software, called VITAE, meeting the industry standards, that users with minimal programming skills could use on their own or local computational resources; 2/ to optimize the HPC capacities of VITAE so that its performances can reach the scale of a whole mouse brain (VITAE4WholeBrain), that could be accessed as a service provided to end users by partnering computational centers; 3/ to assess the market and the competitors for both versions of VITAE; 4/ to determine IPR position and strategy, and 5/ to explore licensing and partnership possibilities.

Project partners

Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique Cnrs

Alzheimer Europe's database on research projects was developed as part of the 2020 Work Plan which received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014–2020).