Katherine Yanhang Zhang, Ph.D.

katherine zhangClaire Boothe Luce Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Claire Booth Luce Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Multi-Scale Tissue Biomechanics Lab
Zhang Lab
Lab Openings

M.S. and Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder
B.Eng. and B.Eco, Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, China
Curriculum Vitae
Phone: (617) 358-4406; Fax: (617) 353-5866
Email: yanhang@bu.edu

Research Interests

  • Cardiovascular mechanics
  • Multi-scale mechanics of extracellular matrix
  • Mechanobiological constitutive modeling of biological tissue
  • Micro- and nano- mechanics of thin film and thin film coatings

Professor Zhang’s research focuses on understanding the mechanical behavior of soft biological tissues and composites at multi-scale. Using coupled experimental and advanced computational modeling, her research integrates the knowledge in biology, nonlinear solid mechanics, and finite element modeling, especially of complex materials and constitutive behavior. She believes that the interplay between fundamental analysis and clinical application will provide the greatest gains. Through her research, she hopes to gain insights on understanding the relationship between microscopic biological processes and changes in macroscopic tissue mechanics due to cardiovascular diseases, and help the development of potential diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.

Current Research

Professor Zhang’s current research focuses on understanding the mechanics and mechanobiology of extracellular matrix (ECM) at multi-scale using both experimental techniques and advanced computational modeling. Extracellular matrix in blood vessels plays a significant role in modifying the mechanical behavior of these dynamic soft tissues. They have extremely complex hierarchical three-dimensional structure and there exists a tremendous interdependence of ECM compositional, structural, and mechanical properties. Many cardiovascular disease conditions involve significant biological remodeling of ECM. Currently there are three major research thrusts in her laboratory.

Selected Recent Publications

Zou, Y. and Zhang, Y. “Mechanical evaluation of decellularized porcine thoracic aorta” Journal of Surgical Research. (2010, accepted)

Lin, I-K, Zhang X., and Zhang Y. “Inelastic deformation of bilayer microcantilevers with nanoscale coating” Sensors & Actuators: A. Physical. (2010, accepted)

Zou, Y. and Zhang, Y. “The orthotropic viscoelastic behavior of aortic elastin” Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology. (2010, Epub ahead of print)

Chow, M.-J. and Zhang, Y. “The Change in Mechanical and Biochemical Properties of Aortic Tissue Due to Cold Storage” Journal of Surgical Research. (2010) doi:10.1016/j.jss.2010.04.007.

Zou, Y. and Zhang, Y. “An Experimental and Theoretical Study on the Anisotropy of Elastin Network” Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Vol. 37, pp. 1572-1583. (2009)

Wei, D. and Zhang, Y. “Friction Between a-Al2O3(0001) Surfaces and the Effects of Surface Hydroxylation” Surface Science. Vol. 603, pp. L95-L98. (2009)

Zhang, Y. and Dunn, M. L. “Patterned bilayer plate microstructures subjected to thermal loading: Deformation and Stresses” International Journal of Solids and Structures. Vol. 46, pp. 125-134. (2009)

Lin, I-K, Zhang, X., and Zhang, Y. “Thermomechanical Behavior and Microstructural Evolution of SiNx/Al Bimaterial Microcantilevers” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. Vol. 19, pp. 085010. (2009)

Lin, I-K, Zhang, Y., and Zhang, X. “The Deformation of Microcantilever-Based Infrared Detectors During Thermal Loading” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. Vol. 18, pp. 075012. (2008)