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The Role of Membrane Mechanics & Dynamics in Endothelial Cell Adhesion to Surfaces & Nanoparticles
Start Date: 3/8/2017Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 3/8/2017End Time: 5:30 PM

Event Description
BIOMED Seminar

The Role of Membrane Mechanics and Dynamics in Endothelial Cell Adhesion to Surfaces and Nanoparticles

Peter J. Butler, PhD
Associate Dean for Education and Professor of Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering
Pennsylvania State University

This seminar will focus on the use of pulsed lasers and quantitative microscopy to understand the role of membranes in mechanosensing and nanaoparticle uptake. Specifically, I will show how fluorescence lifetime fluctuation analysis represents a new analytical method to assess area per lipid, and the dynamic changes of lipid area associated with membrane bending fluctuations. Such analysis can be applied to artificial membranes and cells.

Second, I will develop a novel hypothesis of “mechanotargeting” wherein the mechanical properties of cells can be used to bias nanoparticle uptake towards cells based on their surface mechanics. Because disease is often associated with changes in mechanical properties of cells, such a novel targeting method could help improve the delivery of drug-loaded nanoparticles to diseased tissue.

Finally, I will present data on the dynamics of proteins and lipids at the very early times of adhesion to materials and the attendant force production. Such research seeks to create a unified theory for membrane and molecular dynamics, cellular mechanics, and mechanosensing of the cellular environment.


Peter Butler is a professor of Biomedical Engineering at Penn State University. Dr. Butler's principal research areas include mechanobiology of vascular cells and membranes, nanoparticle and nanoliposomal drug delivery, molecular spectroscopy using time-correlated, single-photon counting (TCSPC), molecular dynamics simulations, and design of medical devices for developing countries.

Dr. Butler’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, American Heart Association, and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Butler is also the Associate Dean for Education at the Penn State College of Engineering and oversees 12 undergraduate departments, and 19 graduate programs. He also interfaces with engineering and engineering technology programs at 23 other Penn State Campus locations, and oversees online engineering education.

Dr. Butler has been inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, is on the governing council for the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and is currently the President of the International Society of Biorheology.
Contact Information:
Name: Ken Barbee
Phone: 215-895-1335
Email: barbee@drexel.edu
Peter Butler
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 120, located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.
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