MITACS Math Biology Seminar 2007

  • Date: 02/01/2007

Function Follows Form - Transport Phenomena Coupled with Mechanics in Biological Systems


University of British Columbia


As the systems approaches are actively adopted in biology, studies for
revealing the link between physical dynamics and corresponding
molecular mechanism will be crucial to better understanding of the
inherent complexity and dynamics of biological phenomena.
Macromolecule diffusion in cells and tissues is important for cell
signaling, metabolism and locomotion. Non-invasive or minimally
invasive in-vivo photobleaching and single quantum-dot tracking
techniques combined with mathematical modeling have been used for
quantifying macromolecule diffusion in cells and living tissues,
including central nervous system and tumors.
My extensive experience in manipulating the tiny volume of liquids and
small biological objects with micro/nanofluidic systems has been
stimulating me to think that cells can respond to chemically patterned
and topologically textured substrates by sensing the modulated surface
forces. More specifically, my current aim is to find the role of
membrane tension in spreading and self-propulsion during cell migration
by applying fluid dynamics approaches to describing the motion of
droplets and thin films on the substrates with chemical or topological
Interdisciplinary collaborations between engineers and biologists would
also lead to continuous advancement in engineering by applying
uncovered design principles and intrinsic strategies in biological

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MITACS Math Biology Seminar 2007