Cardiovascular engineering

Close up of cells

Cellular mechanics and mechanobiology

Many cells in tissues are exposed to dynamic mechanical perturbations, which require constant feedback by those cells to maintain tissue function. The Alford Lab uses novel microfabrication and computational methods to better understand this cellular adaptation in development and disease.

Close-up of abdominal aorta

Tissue mechanics, aneurysms, and pain

The Barocas research group explores the relationship between tissue architecture and mechanics using multiscale computational models and mechanical experiments. Currently, they’re researching how aneurysms grow and fail, and how spinal load leads to injury or pain.

Compilation of three graphics: A graph that's an ADP map with an ms scale of 0 to 1000. A second purplish graphic taken with imaging technology shows a zoomed-in portion of the ADP map. Also an image of a 3-D printed tissue.

Bioprinting cardiac tissues

The Ogle Lab is pushing the boundaries of 3D cardiac bioprinting. They’ve created patches that can be adhered to failing hearts, which has successfully restored cardiac function in rodents. Plus, they’ve fabricated living hearts based on a human heart’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data.

Text says "arrhythmia", with three images. Graph above showing reduction in heart rhythm variation. Colorful VT and VF scans below showing what heart looks like at that time.

Prediction and prevention of cardiac arrhythmias

Alena Talkachova’s group visualizes electrical activity in the heart and small patches of cardiac tissue. They use nonlinear dynamics approaches to predict transition from normal to abnormal cardiac rhythms, and to prevent arrhythmias in the heart. They also develop novel tools to guide mapping-specific ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Hand holding a white engineered heart valve. Person is wearing pink surgical gloves.

Living valves for growing bodies

Bob Tranquillo’s laboratory develops biologically engineered “off-the-shelf” vascular grafts, heart valves, and vein valves. They’ve shown the material, produced by skin cells, has the capacity to grow, which may transform the way pediatric congenital heart defects are treated.

Medical devices from the Living Devices Lab. Two clear devices; one with red lines and one with yellow.

Microphysiologic systems to study disease

The Living Devices Lab is focused on building benchtop systems that mimic human disease outside the human body. We use microfluidics and microfabrication to create engineered tissues in which we control biological components and transport processes at the length scale that is relevant to physiology and pathology.