Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 495: Selected Topics: Mechanics of the Cell and BioMEMS

Quarter Offered

None ; Not offered during 2013-2014


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This is an introductory course on cell and biomaterials mechanics. The objective of the course is to present concepts of cell mechanics in the context of cell biology, physiology, and biophysics. In recent years it has been shown that cell mechanics and mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix, in addition to chemical signals (e.g., growth factors), contribute to the cell behavior and the cell fate.

More specifically, cells feel and respond to physical forces from their environment and neighboring cells, which has been termed as “mechanobiology”.  


To put these concepts within a more quantitative perspective, in this class we will introduce theories and state-of-the-art experimental techniques for the assessment of mechanical properties of the cell and biomaterials, such as atomic force microscopy, micropipette aspiration, magnetic twisting cytometry, etc. In addition, we will cover topics in BioMEMS technology as it relates to cell investigations. 

The class will combine instructor lectures, based on relevant books and papers from high-impact journals, and presentations from student groups in the class.