The 6th IASTED International Conference on
BioMech 2011

November 7 – 9, 2011
Pittsburgh, USA


Injury thresholds - it takes the whole biomechanics toolbox

Prof. Susan Margulies
University of Pennsylvania, USA


Cells within the body routinely tolerate deformations during activities such as head turning and breathing, yet when cells are deformed beyond a safe limit or injury threshold, function and structure are altered temporarily or even permanently. Our goal is to determine functional and structural injury thresholds in the brain and lung, and use them to understand mechanisms of traumatic brain and lung injury. In addition, the lab's study of the biochemical and molecular biology of injured cells facilitates the development of preventive and therapeutic measures. Because human tissues tend to be inhomogeneous, anisotropic and nonlinear, and the tissues of interest undergo large strains, determining the complex relationship between cellular and macroscopic responses requires an integrated biomechanics approach consisting of several simultaneous rigorous engineering experimental and theoretical analyses. Tissue mechanical properties and injury thresholds are measured and used to develop computational models. These models are used to generalize our experimental cell and tissue findings and determine macroscopic injury mechanisms and injury thresholds. These studies parallel clinical investigations regarding the treatment and detection of traumatic injury.

Biography of the Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Portrait

Susan Margulies is a Professor of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at Penn. She received her BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University (summa cum laude), her MSE and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Penn. She was an Assistant Professor at the Mayo Clinic before joining Penn's faculty in 1993.
Professor Margulies was awarded the prestigious ALA Young Investigator and Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator Awards, and an NSF CAREER Award. Her research program is funded by NIH, Department of Transportation, Whitaker Foundation, and the CDC. She has published over 100 papers, and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Discover Magazine, and by CNN and the BBC. She was elected a Fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, American Society of Mechanical Engineering and the Biomedical Engineering Society. She currently serves as Chair of the NIH RIBT Study section, Vice-President of the Penn Forum for Women Faculty, and Chair-Elect of the University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate.