Natacha DePaola, Ph.D.

  Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Research Overview

Biofluids and Cellular Bioengineering

My laboratory investigates 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 with major research efforts directed to identify the mechanistic links between hemodynamics and vascular biology.

A main objective is to develop experimental and mathematical models that, in relation to the flow characteristic, describe the dynamics of cell behavior and cell interactions occurring at the arterial surface in early atherosclerosis. Focus is on the identification of cellular and molecular mechanisms by which specific flow parameters regulate endothelial function, contributing to localized vessel wall remodeling and the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

Our studies combine mammalian cell models, experimental fluid dynamics, and biochemical/molecular techniques. The detailed characterization of the cell mechanical environment is obtained using experimental, analytical, and numerical simulation techniques.

The novelty of our research approach reside on the fact that the biological emphasis is in cell dysfunction and that the fluid dynamics (and convective mass transport) emphasis is in the complex flows found at atherogenesis-prone sites of the human vasculature.

Detailed Research Topics



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