NIBIB / Biomechanics Training Program
Traineeships are available to doctoral students in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Material Science & Engineering, and Biological Engineering in the School of Engineering, the Biology Department in the School of Science, and the Division of Health Sciences and Technology, under a new Training Grant in Molecular, Cell & Tissue Biomechanics (MCTB). These Traineeships will cover tuition plus stipend for two years. While classical macroscopic biomechanics has traditionally played a central role in medical engineering and physiology, the emerging fields of mechanobiology go further, recognizing the essential connections between forces acting within tissues, cells, and individual molecules, and the fundamental biological processes that regulate growth, development, cell differentiation and migration. Promise now exists not only to explore the role of mechanics in biology, but also to use it advantageously to control cell function in the treatment of disease or in regenerative medicine. We seek applicants equally focused on biology and mechanics, emphasizing their intimate integration. Faculty mentors are drawn from, in addition to the four departments mentioned, Chemical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, to further broaden the interdisciplinary nature of the program. Funds are available for four new trainees each year. Students will apply during their 1st or 2nd years of graduate study at MIT, to be selected based on their MIT coursework and research potential and interests. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. In additional to Departmental requirements, all trainees in the MCTB Training Program must take: Molecular, Cell and Tissue Biomechanics, and Fields, Forces and Flows in Biological Systems and a graduate biology course. Trainees will also participate in a Summer School on MicroMechanics in Biomedicine.
Please contact Annmarie Donovan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Professor Roger Kamm (email@example.com) for additional information regarding the training grant.
- 2.183 Biomechanics and neural control of movement.
Quantitative knowledge of human movement behavior is important in a growing number of engineering applications (medical & rehabilitation technology, athletic & military equipment, human-computer interaction, vehicle performance, etc.). Presents a quantitative, model-based description of how biomechanical and neural factors interact in human sensory-motor behavior, focusing mainly on the upper limbs. Students survey recent literature on how motor behavior is controlled, comparing biological and robotic approaches to similar tasks. Topics may include a review of relevant neural, muscular and skeletal physiology, neural feedback and "equilibrium-point" theories, co-contraction strategies, impedance control, kinematic redundancy, optimization, intermittency, contact tasks and tool use. Students taking the graduate version will complete additional assignments
- 2.785 Cell-matrix mechanics
Mechanical forces play a decisive role during development of tissues and organs, during remodeling following injury as well as in normal function. A stress field influences cell function primarily through deformation of the extracellular matrix to which cells are attached. Deformed cells express different biosynthetic activity relative to undeformed cells. The unit cell process paradigm combined with topics in connective tissue mechanics form the basis for discussions of several topics from cell biology, physiology, and medicine.
- 2.79 Biomaterials: Tissue Interactions
Principles of materials science and cell biology underlying the design of medical implants, artificial organs, and matrices for tissue engineering. Methods for biomaterials surface characterization and analysis of protein adsorption on biomaterials. Molecular and cellular interactions with biomaterials are analyzed in terms of unit cell processes, such as matrix synthesis, degradation, and contraction. Mechanisms underlying wound healing and tissue remodeling following implantation in various organs. Tissue and organ regeneration. Design of implants and prostheses based on control of biomaterials-tissue interactions. Comparative analysis of intact, biodegradable, and bioreplaceable implants by reference to case studies. Criteria for restoration of physiological function for tissues and organs.
- 3.22 Mechanical properties of materials
Explores how the macroscale mechanical behavior of materials originates from fundamental, microscale mechanisms of elastic and inelastic deformation. Topics include: elasticity, viscoelasticity, plasticity, creep, fracture, and fatigue. Case studies and examples are drawn from a variety of material classes: metals, ceramics, polymers, thin films, composites, and cellular materials.
- 6.021 Cellular Biophysics
Integrated overview of the biophysics of cells from prokaryotes to neurons, with a focus on mass transport and electrical signal generation across cell membrane. First half of course focuses on mass transport through membranes: diffusion, osmosis, chemically mediated, and active transport. Second half focuses on electrical properties of cells: ion transport to action potentials in electrically excitable cells. Electrical properties interpreted via kinetic and molecular properties of single voltage-gated ion channels. Laboratory and computer exercises illustrate the concepts. Provides instruction in written and oral communication.
- 10.668 Statistical Mechanics of Polymers
Concepts of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics applied to macromolecules: polymer conformations in melts, solutions, and gels; Rotational Isomeric State theory, Markov processes and molecular simulation methods applied to polymers; incompatibility and segregation in incompressible and compressible systems; molecular theory of viscoelasticity; relation to scattering and experimental measurements.
- 20.342 Molecular structure of biological materials
Basic molecular structural principles of biological materials. Molecular structures of various materials of biological origin, including collagen, silk, bone, protein adhesives, GFP, self-assembling peptides. Molecular design of new biological materials for nanotechnology, biocomputing and regenerative medicine. Graduate students are expected to complete additional coursework.
- 20.415 Physical Biology
Develops and applies principles of probability, statistics and physics to biological systems at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. Applies information theory, statistical mechanics and transition-state theory to equilibrium and non-equilibrium biological systems. Focuses on sequence conservation and evolution, protein-protein/-DNA interactions, and cytoskeletal dynamics mediating cell division, migration, and morphogenesis. Presents quantitative experimental techniques to measure protein dynamics in living cells; techniques include fluorescence correlation and cross-correlation spectroscopy, particle-tracking, and image-based correlation.
- 20.440 Analysis of Biological Networks
Analyzes complex biological processes from the molecular, cellular, extracellular, and organ levels of hierarchy. Emphasis placed on the basic biochemical and biophysical principles that govern these processes. Examples of processes to be studied include chemotaxis, the fixation of nitrogen into organic biological molecules, growth factor and hormone mediated signaling cascades, and signaling cascades leading to cell death in response to DNA damage. In each case, the availability of a resource, or the presence of a stimulus, results in some biochemical pathways being turned on while others are turned off. Examines the dynamic aspects of these processes and details how biochemical mechanistic themes impinge on molecular-cellular-tissue-organ level functions. Chemical and quantitative view of the interplay of multiple pathways as biological networks. Preparation of a unique grant application in an area of biological networks.
- 20.462 Molecular Principles of Biomaterials
Analysis and design at a molecular scale of materials used in contact with biological systems, including biotechnology and biomedical engineering. Topics include molecular interactions between bio- and synthetic molecules and surfaces; design, synthesis, and processing approaches for materials that control cell functions; and application of state-of-the-art materials science to problems in tissue engineering, drug delivery, biosensors, and cell-guiding surfaces.
- 20.490 Foundations of Computational and Systems Biology
Provides an introduction to computational and systems biology. Includes units on the analysis of protein and nucleic acid sequences, protein structures, and biological networks. Presents principles and methods used for sequence alignment, motif finding, expression array analysis, structural modeling, structure design and prediction, and network analysis and modeling. Techniques include dynamic programming, Markov and hidden Markov models, Bayesian networks, clustering methods, and energy minimization approaches. Exposes students to emerging research areas. Designed for students with strong backgrounds in either molecular biology or computer science. Some foundational material covering basic programming skills, probability and statistics is provided for students with less quantitative backgrounds.
||Integration of high resolution light and electron microscopy data with mechanistic models of cytoskeletal function.
|C. Forbes Dewey, Jr.
||Cell, tissue, and fluid biomechanics, biological imaging
|Alan J. Grodzinsky
||Cell mechanobiology, molecular electromechanics, and tissue engineering
|Roger D. Kamm
||Molecular, cellular, tissue and fluid biomechanics
||Single molecule biophysics, functional measurement of molecular and cellular machinery
|Douglas A. Lauffenburger
||Cell, tissue and biomolecular engineering, computational modeling of biological and physiological systems
||Biomedical optics, micromanipulation and fabrication, molecular, cell and tissue biomechanics, non-invasive optical biopsy
||Single cell and single molecule mechanical response, experiments and computations
||Computational biology and bioengineering, molecular biophysics, rational drug design, biochemical networks and signal transduction, systems biology
|Krystyn Van Vliet