Our laboratory strives to understand and seek solutions to pathologies of tubular tissue and organs, such as blood vessels, urethra, colon, esophagus, etc., by applying our strengths in computational and experimental biomechanics, image analysis, cellular and molecular biology, and tissue engineering at an accelerated pace. Our laboratory represents successful collaborations within the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as well as outside collaborations. We are training the researchers of tomorrow with cutting edge ideas and technology in the following specific research areas:
Mechanopathobiological assessment of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm, including rigorous mechanical and architectural characterization of aneurysmal tissue, assessment of the role of intraluminal thrombus (ILT) in the pathophysiology of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), isolation and phenotypic characterization of cells from the wall and ILT of AAA tissue and understanding their mechanobiology in two- and three- dimensional models, and the development of a patient-specific, biomechanics-based rupture potential index for AAA.
- Mechanical characterization of cerebral aneurysms and treatments associated with this condition using computational and experimental techniques.
- Development of a human stem cell-based tissue engineered vascular graft (TEVG) using novel in-vivo and in-vitro methodologies and approaches.
- Experimental investigation of the role of biomechanical milieu in the development of vascular diseases - such as vein graft intimal hyperplasia, atherosclerosis, etc. - using a novel ex-vivo perfusion system.
- Experimental and computational investigation of diseases of the intestines, esophagus and urethra.