Research conducted in our laboratory focuses on the fundamental aspects of fluid mechanics and mass transport that are involved in the modulation of mammalian cell function. Special attention is given to the cells in the arterial circulation and to the development of tissue-engineered vascular implants.
Our research activities include the development of instrumentation and methods for the accurate in vitro evaluation of cell function in variable mechanical environments. A main objective is to develop experimental models and theoretical analysis that will provide a good description of the dynamic process occurring in the arterial surface in early atherosclerosis. We are interested in the identification of physical mechanisms involved in cell pathobiology. In specific, we study cell communication, adhesion and injury in well controlled disturbed flow fields in vitro.
Three dimensional numerical simulations of the fluid flow in models of graft anastomosis and arterio-venous reconstructions are used in conjunction with the in vitro cellular and animal data to investigate the role of altered hemodynamics in the failure of synthetic vascular grafts and localized intimal thickening.
Cellular level pulmonary mechanics and transport is also investigated in cultured cells.
The results of our investigation are expected to contribute to the understanding of the role of physical forces in several disease processes and to the development of new therapies in cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine.