Research Projects
The Vascular Kinetics laboratory investigates interaction of vascular cells with their extracellular protein environment. Each project applies biochemistry and biomechanics to advance our knowledge and promote development of new therapies for vascular disease.

Endothelial cell mechanics in diabetes
Endothelial cells adapt to blood flow in their mechanical environment. People with diabetes develop accelerated atherosclerosis, and we hypothesize that interaction between biochemistry and biomechanics contributes to diabetic vascular disease. This research is supported by NSF.
  Effect of Abeta peptide on endothelial cell function in Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by increased deposition of Abeta peptide. Studies suggest that the vasculature plays a key role in Alzheimer's disease development, yet most research has been performed in static culture. We are studying how flow affects endothelial cell interactions with and response to the Abeta peptide. This research is funded by the PA Department of Public Health.
Endothelial cell strain-induced remodeling
Endothelial cells remodel both their shape and the extracellular matrix in response to vessel strain. We built a linear uniaxial cell stretching device, which we use to measure endothelial cell and extracellular matrix remodeling following physiologic strain. This research is supported by the American Heart Association.
Cell - basement membrane interaction
Endothelial cells reside on a protein mesh called the basement membrane. The basement membrane provides biochemical and structural support by storing and releasing cytokines and growth factors critical to cell function. We are investigating how altered basement membrane properties diminish angiogenesis in diabetes. This research was supported by the PA Department of Public Health.
BM Biomimetic materials for drug delivery
Our laboratory studies natural biomaterials such as basement membrane to facilitate development of new tissue engineering scaffolds. We are designing and manufacturing scaffolds that closely mimic natural biokinetics. We will use these scaffolds as biochemically and biomechanically active materials for tissue engineering, tissue repair, and drug delivery. This research is supported by a joint program between Drexel and Hebrew University.
DEP device Dielectrophoretic cell mechanics device Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is the force induced on a neutral particle in a non-uniform electric field. DEP has been used to trap and pattern cells, but not to measure single attached cell mechanics. We developed a DEP device to trap a cell, allow it to attach to the surface, and then push on the cell to determine its mechanical properties. This research was funded by the NIH and is currently supported by the a Single Cell grant.
NP Nanoparticles for tissue engineering
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are being developed for a wide variety of biomedical applications, from drug delivery to MRI imaging. We are using these nanoparticles in tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. This research was supported by NSF.