Research in our laboratory focuses on studies of transport phenomena and mechanics in tissues, with an emphasis in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular diseases. Our approach relies on the development of microsystem-based models of tissue and disease in conjunction with conventional in vitro and in vivo models. A few of the current project in the laboratory are described below.
Platelet biomechanics. Platelets are the blood cells that adhere and aggregate at the site of a vascular injury. Our lab studies the adhesion mechanisms of platelets as a function of shear stress using microfluidic models of vascular injury and in vivo models of thrombosis. Currently, we are examining how the spatial presentation of adhesive proteins such as collagen affects platelet adhesion and blood clot formation. We are also using these models as a diagnostic approach for assessing bleeding severity in disorders like von Willebrand disease and as a high throughput assay of platelet function.
Mass transfer in coagulation. Coagulation is the biochemical pathway that works in concert with platelets to form blood clots. Solute transport of coagulation proteins to and from a clot is poorly understood, but is one of the key mechanisms that regulate clot formation. We have developed series of in vitro models that allow for the measurement of coagulation in a flow-based environment in both purified and whole blood systems. These models have been used to unravel the biophysical mechanisms of why individuals with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia form unstable clots.
Transport in porous media. All the tissues in the body can be treated as porous media; the extracellular space between cells defines a pore space that is filled with a milieu of matrix proteins. Fluid and solute transport in the extracellular space regulates how cells communicate with each other and is also the primary barrier in drug delivery. We conduct fundamental transport studies in human tissues and microscale analogs of tissue to measure the constitutive properties of these media. The ultimate goal of this line of research is to design better drug delivery strategies than can circumvent or exploit transport through the pore space.
Visit our lab web page for a more information on current projects in the lab.
1. M. Wu, F. Xiao, R.M. Johnson-Paben, S.T. Retterer, X. Yin, K.B. Neeves. Single- and two-phase flow in microfluidic porous media analogs based on Voronoi tessellation. Lab on a Chip, 12 (2012), 253-261.
2. R.R. Hansen, A.A. Tipnis, T.C. White-Adams, J.A. Di Paola, K.B. Neeves. Characterization of collagen thin films for von Willebrand factor binding and platelet adhesion. Langmuir, 27 (2011), 13648-13658.
3. R.R. Hansen, A.R. Wufsus, S.T. Barton, A.A. Onasoga, R.M. Johnson-Paben, K.B. Neeves. High content analysis of shear dependent platelet function in a microfluidic flow assay. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 14 (2013): 250-262.
4. K.B. Neeves, A.A. Onasoga, R.R. Hansen, J.J. Lilly, D. Venckunaite, M.B. Sumner, A.T. Irish, G. Brodsky, M.J. Manco-Johnson, J.A. Di Paola. Sources of variability in platelet accumulation on type I fibrillar collagen in microfluidic flow assays. PLoS One, 8 (2013): e54680.
5. A.R. Wufsus, N.E. Macera, K.B. Neeves. The hydraulic permeability of blood clots as a function of fibrin and platelet density. Biophysical Journal, 104 (2013): 1812-1823.