Bioengineering Seminar Series

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"Vascular Mechanics and Mechanobiology in Health and Disease"

Jay D. Humphrey, Ph.D.
John C. Malone Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chair
Yale University

Vascular cells – the endothelial cells of the intima, smooth muscle cells of the media, and fibroblasts of the adventitia – are exquisitely sensitive to changes in their local mechanical environment. As examples, arteries dilate in response to sustained increases in blood flow and they thicken in response to sustained increases in blood pressure, both of which tend to restore hemodynamically imposed stresses towards homeostatic values. Presented here is a general theoretical framework for modeling mechanobiologically-driven adaptations to altered hemodynamics that can also be used to capture diverse cases of vascular maladaptations and disease progression. Basic computational simulations show that a constrained mixture framework can yield emergent evolving responses of vessels that are consistent with experimental findings and clinical observations in diverse cases of vascular adaptation or disease progression. The primary challenge as we move forward is to collect appropriate mechanobiological and immunobiological data that will allow us to refine the constitutive assumptions as we consider increasingly more detailed situations, particularly in cases of genetic mutations that give rise to vascular conditions and innovations for improving disease treatment.

J.D. Humphrey's primary interests and expertise are in experimental and computational biomechanics related to vascular adaptations and disease. He received the Ph.D. degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from The Georgia Institute of Technology and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Medicine - Cardiovascular at the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently John C. Malone Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Yale. He has authored a graduate textbook (Cardiovascular Solid Mechanics), co-authored an undergraduate textbook (An Introduction to Biomechanics), co-authored a handbook (Style and Ethics of Communication in Science and Engineering), co-edited a research text (Cardiovascular Soft Tissue Mechanics), published chapters in 20+ other books or encyclopedias, and published 230+ archival journal papers. He served for 10 years as founding co-editor-in-chief for the international journal Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology and currently serves as Chair of the US National Committee on Biomechanics. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The Bioengineering Seminar Series is co-hosted by the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Colly Mitchell
  • Created:05/24/2018
  • Modified By:Colly Mitchell
  • Modified:07/25/2018