The Alford Lab focuses on cellular mechano-adaptation in development and disease.
Many cells in tissues are exposed to dynamic mechanical perturbations, which require constant feedback by those cells to maintain their integrity and functionality. Our lab takes a multimodal approach to better understand the processes by which this feedback occurs.
We employ microfabrication and tissue engineering approaches to construct in vitro models that mimic the structure and function of native cells and tissues, but in a highly controlled setting, allowing us to probe the force-feedback behavior of cells.
We also develop theoretical models that, when combined with our experimental work, can be used to tease out the relationship between mechanical force and cellular responses, such as contraction, migration, and protein and gene expression.
We are interested in a wide range of biomechanics problems including aneurysm formation and growth, cerebral vasospasm, morphogenesis, and neurotrauma.