This story is from the category The Brain
Date posted: 27/10/2011
Xiaohui “Frank” Zhang is integrating physics, immunology and biology to develop a “nanodevice” that could provide a new treatment for stroke, thrombosis and atherosclerosis.
Zhang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics and faculty member in the bioengineering program, leads an interdisciplinary research team seeking to deliver medication to targeted regions of the human body.
Their device measures tens of nanometers in size.
The researchers study mechanosensing—how cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli. Mechanosensing is crucial in the development of tissues and the progression of cardiovascular diseases.
“Of the three basic ways that cells communicate with each other—chemical, electrical and mechanical—the last is by far the least understood,” says Zhang.
One reason mechanosensing is not studied extensively is because the mechanical forces imposed on cells occur on a molecular level, he says.
“It’s very hard to measure and exert force on molecules.”
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