Raha Dastgheyb, Aparna Bhattacharyya, and Tenderano Muzorewa, all PhD candidates in Dr. Ken Barbee’s Cellular Mechanics Laboratory in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, will discuss their study of the role of mechanics and transport processes in cellular physiology using a combination of mathematical modeling and experimental techniques such as fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy, measurements of nitric oxide, and a variety of custom-designed devices for mechanically stimulating cells.
The work on neuron injury focuses on the acute effects of mechanical trauma on cell structure and the biological consequences of membrane damage. It investigates the potential therapeutic effects of directly repairing damaged membranes using the nonionic surfactant polymer, poloxamer 188 (P188). P188 treatment can protect injured neurons from apoptosis and necrosis and prevent the structural alterations characteristic of axonal injury.
Wound infections following traumatic injury are a major source of morbidity and mortality, particularly in patients with multiple wounds. Recent research has indicated that many infections are the result of the biofilm mode of microbial growth and it has been hypothesized that biofilms play a role in delayed wound healing. Nitric oxide (NO) has been demonstrated to have a dual role in the treatment of wounds: NO has been shown to accelerate wound closure and to control bacterial colonization. Our goal is to develop a patient-friendly nitric oxide wound dressing that obviates the problems of nitric oxide storage and delivery and allows the patient to easily apply the dressing at home.
Cardiovascular disease is responsible for 1 in 3 deaths in the United States. Endothelial cells transduce the mechanical stimulus supplied by blood flow into intracellular chemical signals and lead to the production of nitric oxide, an important signaling molecule in the vasculature. Endothelial dysfunction impairs nitric oxide production, leading to cardiovascular disease. We are using mathematical modeling to identify the key molecular pathways controlling flow-induced nitric oxide production.In so doing, we can have a better understanding of what goes wrong in endothelial dysfunction, and inform the design of novel treatments for cardiovascular disease.
For more info, please visit www.biomed.drexel.edu