The objectives of this program are to investigate the biomechanical behavior of red blood cells, white blood cells, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and other components of the vasculature; to study the micromechanics and molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular cell-cell interactions; and to assess the biomechanical and molecular basis of vascular function and microcirculatory dynamics in health and disease. The rheological properties of normal and abnormal blood cells, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells will be studied by micromechanical techniques. The experimental results will be subjected to computational analysis and serve as the basis of theoretical modeling. These findings will be correlated with the molecular organization of the cell membrane, especially the membrane proteins. The Program will employ a multidisciplinary, systematic approach involving parallel experimental and theoretical investigations, which cover the spectrum ranging from molecular biology to the in vivo circulation.
The specific aims of research are (a) to investigate the rheological properties, molecular dynamics, and interactions of cells in the circulation, including both the blood and the vascular wall. (b) to elucidate the interrelationships between the molecular organization of these cells with their biomechanical behavior, and (c) to establish the functional roles of the biomechanics of blood cells, blood vessels and microcirculation in health and disease. The research projects will be supported by core facilities in the Administrative Office, Cell and Tissue Culture Facilities, Computer Modeling and Image Processing Facilities, Instrumentation Laboratory, and Ultrastructure Laboratory. The coordinated effort is aimed at elucidating the molecular basis and physiological roles of the biomechanical behavior of blood cells, endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells, as well as the responses of these cells to mechanical force. The ultimate goal is to provide the fundamental knowledge needed to improve diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular and blood diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Heart, Lung, and Blood Initial Review Group (HLBP)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Diego
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Arts and Sciences
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
Dewan, Sukriti; McCabe, Kimberly J; Regnier, Michael et al. (2016) Molecular Effects of cTnC DCM Mutations on Calcium Sensitivity and Myofilament Activation-An Integrated Multiscale Modeling Study. J Phys Chem B 120:8264-75
Yao, Weijuan; Chu, Xin; Sung, Lanping Amy (2015) Cell type-restricted expression of erythrocyte tropomodulin Isoform41 in exon 1 knockout/LacZ knock-in heterozygous mice. Gene Expr Patterns 17:45-55
Sche, Paul; Vera, Carlos; Sung, L Amy (2011) Intertwined ** spectrin meeting helical actin protofilament in the erythrocyte membrane skeleton: wrap-around vs. point-attachment. Ann Biomed Eng 39:1984-93
de Oliveira, Mauricio; Vera, Carlos; Valdez, Pierre et al. (2010) Nanomechanics of multiple units in the erythrocyte membrane skeletal network. Ann Biomed Eng 38:2956-67
Yao, Weijuan; Sung, Lanping Amy (2010) Erythrocyte tropomodulin isoforms with and without the N-terminal actin-binding domain. J Biol Chem 285:31408-17
Su, Susan S; Schmid-Schönbein, Geert W (2010) Internalization of Formyl Peptide Receptor in Leukocytes Subject to Fluid Stresses. Cell Mol Bioeng 3:20-29
Yao, Weijuan; Sung, Lanping Amy (2009) Specific expression of E-Tmod (Tmod1) in horizontal cells: implications in neuronal cell mechanics and glaucomatous retina. Mol Cell Biomech 6:71-82
Schmid-Schönbein, Geert W (2009) 2008 Landis Award lecture. Inflammation and the autodigestion hypothesis. Microcirculation 16:289-306
Chien, Shu (2008) Effects of disturbed flow on endothelial cells. Ann Biomed Eng 36:554-62
Jacot, Jeffrey G; McCulloch, Andrew D; Omens, Jeffrey H (2008) Substrate stiffness affects the functional maturation of neonatal rat ventricular myocytes. Biophys J 95:3479-87

Showing the most recent 10 out of 205 publications