Biomechanics and Mechanobiology | Duke BME

Biomechanics and Mechanobiology

Our biomechanics and mechanobiology research focuses upon mechanics at and across the molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ levels.

While biomechanics research largely involves determining, manipulating, and testing the forces and deformations experienced by biological tissues, tissue replacements, or their constitutive elements, mechanobiology studies how physical cues, such as applied forces or the stiffness of the environment around the cell, affect cell behavior.

Research efforts range from applications in orthopaedics, injury mechanics, biomaterial and tissue engineering design to those aimed at affecting disease states where mechanical perturbations in tissues are known to augment pathogenesis, such as cancer and atherosclerosis.

Collaborations in this area at Duke involve faculty from the Duke University Medical Center divisions of Cardiology, Hematology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, and Rheumatology, as well as faculty in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Mechanical Engineering in the Pratt School of Engineering and the departments of Biology and Cell Biology in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

Primary Faculty

Brenton D. Hoffman

Brenton D. Hoffman

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Focused on understanding, on a molecular level, how mechanical and chemical cues from the environment are detected, integrated, and manipulated by cells to dictate physiological and patho-physiological responses important in vascular biology.

David F. Katz

David F. Katz

Nello L. Teer, Jr. Professor of Biomedical Engineering, in the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering

Research Interests: Methods for prophylaxis against STD's, emphasizing topical microbicides and contraception; biofluid mechanics; rheology and transport phenomena; biophysical aspects of mammalian sperm motility, sperm transport, and fertilization; and biomechanical functioning of the vitreous of...

Barry S. Myers

Barry S. Myers

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: An expert in head and neck impact injury biomechanics, Dr. Myers is interested in translational research innovation—overseeing programs to advance faculty research to market.

Kathryn Radabaugh Nightingale

Kathryn Radabaugh Nightingale

Theo Pilkington Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Ultrasonic and elasticity imaging, specifically nonlinear propagation, acoustic streaming and radiation force; the intentional generation of these phenomena for the purpose of tissue characterization; finite element modeling of normal and diseased tissue when exposed to...

Amanda Randles

Amanda Randles

Alfred Winborne and Victoria Stover Mordecai Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Research Interests: Biomedical simulation and high-performance computing

George A. Truskey

George A. Truskey

R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Cardiovascular tissue engineering, mechanisms of atherogenesis, cell adhesion, and cell biomechanics.

Shyni Varghese

Shyni Varghese

Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and Orthopaedics

Research Interests: Musculoskeletal tissue repair, disease biophysics and organ-on-a-chip technology

Fan Yuan

Fan Yuan

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Drug and gene delivery, mechanisms of molecular transport in cells and tissues, and tumor pathophysiology.

Secondary Faculty

Louis Edwin DeFrate

Louis Edwin DeFrate

Frank H. Bassett III, M. D. Associate Professor

Ken Gall

Ken Gall

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Materials science, mechanical properties, metals and polymers. Specialties: Shape memory materials, biomaterials, 3D printing.

Piotr E. Marszalek

Piotr E. Marszalek

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Investigating relationships between structural and mechanical properties of biopolymers (polysaccharides, DNA, proteins), at a single molecule level.

W Daniel Stamer

W Daniel Stamer

Joseph A.C. Wadsworth Professor of Ophthalmology

Research Interests: The Mechanobiology of Ocular Hypertension in Glaucoma: My laboratory studies the disease of glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the United States, affecting nearly 3 million people (70 million Worldwide). The primary risk factor for developing glaucoma is ocular...

Stefan Zauscher

Stefan Zauscher

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Nano-mechanical and nano-tribological characterization (elasticity, friction, adhesion) of materials including organic thin films; self-assembled monolayers, polymeric gels, and cellulosics; Fabrication of polymeric nanostructures by scanning probe lithography; Colloidal probe...

Pei Zhong

Pei Zhong

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Enginnering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Ultrasound-targeted gene delivery and activation; Synergistic combination of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and immunotherapy for cancer treatment; Innovations in shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) technology; and Mechanics and bioeffects of acoustic cavitation.

Research Faculty

Cameron R. Bass

Cameron R. Bass

Associate Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Dr. Bass's research interests include the biomechanics of blast, blunt and ballistic trauma and pediatric trauma. His research focuses on injury risk from microscale to macroscale for the head, neck, thorax and extremities.

Adjunct Faculty

Roger W Nightingale

Roger W Nightingale

Adjunct Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Dr. Nightingale's current research interests include: crash test dummies, pediatric head and neck injury, the biomechanics of trauma, modeling of the human head and cervical spine, and the mechanical characterization of head and neck tissues.