Micromechanics of the Airway Smooth Muscle Cell

, ,

Principal Investigator:
Jeffrey Fredberg, Professor of Bioengineering and Physiology


Dates of Research:
September 1, 2005 — July 31, 2011


The goal of this study is to develop novel nanotechnologies to assist in the discovery of physical laws governing the abilities of the cytoskeleton to deform, contract, and remodel. These basic mechanical processes underlie a wide range of higher level phenomena in heath and disease, including many aspects of cancer, cardiovascular disease, malaria, and morphogenesis. Our major research emphasis focuses upon the role of these processes in airway narrowing in asthma. Investigators with backgrounds in engineering sciences, cell biology, and physics of soft condensed matter work side-by-side to pose new questions, invent new nanotechnologies, apply these technologies in novel experimental investigations, and analyze resulting data in terms of evolving mechanistic understanding of the physical properties of the living cell.