Biomechanics & Mechanobiology


Biomechanics and mechanobiology research focus on the biological processes and mechanics at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, and organism levels. Facilities like the College of Engineering’s Center for Ergonomics help our faculty model the stresses produced in certain situations.


What We Do:

  • Quantify the mechanical environment that cells and matrix function while healthy, disease, or injured
  • Identify and relationships between mechanical and biological processes such as growth, repair, and adaptation.
  • Investigate how forces that act upon a cell or the cell’s environment affect cell behavior



  • 3D Engineered Environments
  • Muscle and Skeletal Degeneration
  • Micro-NanoFluidic Devices
  • Blood Flow Simulation

Relevant Research from BME Faculty

Dr. Carlos Aguilar – Muscle Regeneration













We use integrative genomic assays at the population and single cell level to understand muscle stem cells actions and animal models of disease, aging and trauma. Our lab is the first to deconvolve the heterogeneity of this stem cell compartment, how niche derived factors contribute to their functions and how chromatin modifications and accessibility are modulated through time. We also use microfluidic devices to understand changes in their elasticity (green and gray device) and ability to fuse (droplet sorter) below.































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Dr. James Grotberg – Lung Airway Reopening During Inspiration: Liquid Plug Flow and Rupture Injures Epithelial Cells

Image 1) Stress levels on the cells jump to high levels at rupture (red curves)

Image 2) CFD model of propagation and rupture

Image 3) Microfluidic expts of plug propagation

Image 4) Airways are coated with liquid & forms plugs






























































































































































































































































Dr. Jan Stegemann – Characterization and simulation of engineered tissues


The Stegemann laboratory focuses on how cells interact with the 3D protein matrix around them and how these interactions can be used to develop better biomaterials and engineered tissues. Main application areas are in the cardiovascular department and orthopaedic tissues.

In collaboration with the Deng Lab (BME), we have developed ultrasound-based techniques that can be used to quantitatively characterize soft engineered and natural tissues at the micro-scale. Ultrasound is also used to stimulate progenitor cell differentiation in these details.


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Associated Core (and key) BME Faculty: