Cell-Scale Mechanics and Transport in Endothelial Nitric Oxide Signaling

Lecture / Panel
Open to the Public

Kenneth Barber


Kenneth Barber, PhD

Professor, Senior Associate Dean of Research

School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems Drexel University


The focus of Prof. Barbee’s research is the response of cells and tissues to mechanical loading. In the cardiovascular system, he is interested in mechanotransduction mechanisms responsible for the endothelial cell response to flow. His team explores this using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) of living cells in culture to measure three-dimensional surface topography in combination with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to calculate shear stress distributions. His group is also interested in the response of medial smooth muscle cells to the cyclic stretching that occurs in vivo due to the blood pulse. He has developed cell-culture models for applying a biaxial stretch to cultured cells while recording their responses by fluorescence microscopy techniques. In addition to the responses to physiological mechanical stimuli, his group is also interested in the response of neural and vascular tissue to the extreme loading conditions associated with traumatic injury. The goals of this work are to establish cellular injury criteria that can be used in the development of protective equipment and to provide an injury model in which the mechanical insult is precisely controlled, the cellular response is measured, and the ability of therapeutic agents to mitigate the injury can be evaluated. 

Dr. Barbee received his BS in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the University of Tennessee, before pursuing an MS in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He followed this with a PhD degree in Bioengineering, from the same institution. In 1198 he joined Drexel University as Assistant Professor, where he rose through the ranks to become the Senior Associate Dean for Research


Kenneth Barber