Lay summary
The brain's energy use is extremely high. Although only approximately 2% of the total body mass, it uses about a quarter of the total glucose. Glucose and oxygen are transported to the brain by a very complex cerebral vasculature. The processes governing the regulation of local cerebral blood flow are not well understood. Research in the field of neurovascular and neurometabolic coupling is highly relevant because it provides the basis for a better understanding of (1) microvascular components of cerebral pathologies, such as neurodegenerative diseases as well as of (2) functional imaging modalities based on cerebral blood flow as a surrogate of neuronal activity, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging. In the proposed project, we aim to continue our research on the cerebral microvascular anatomy and the spatiotemporal aspects of cerebral hemodynamics. In vivo and ex vivo experiments will be performed applying state-of-the-art imaging technologies that have been developed in the last three years. Using numerical simulations, we finally integrate anatomical and functional data to construct a comprehensive model of neurovascular and neurometabolic coupling mechanisms.