Biomechanics and Mechanobiology

Mechanical forces are everywhere in living systems. We exert forces on our cells, tissues, and organs during each contraction of our hearts as they beat, each time our feet contact the ground as we walk and run, each time we stretch the walls of our lungs as we inhale. Nearly all common degenerative conditions and leading causes of death, from heart disease to cancer to Alzheimer’s, can be traced back to failure of our cells and tissues to maintain a balance between the forces they experience and the biological functions they must perform. BU faculty are at the forefront of studying this balance and using the knowledge gained to improve medicine and health care. In biomechanics, we are developing new methods of understanding and predicting how changes in the mechanical behavior of biological components leads to the progression of lung disease, arthritis, and brain cancer. Our faculty are also advancing the study of mechanobiology, through investigations of how cells are able to sense and respond to mechanical force, and how to harness this ability to promote faster healing, build new tissues, and engineer better resistance to disease. BU BME’s long tradition of leadership in biomechanics and mechanobiology is further strengthened by a culture of collaboration with other engineering departments, cross-college research centers, BU’s medical school, and industry partners.

Biomechanics and Mechanobiology Faculty 

Primary Faculty: Christopher Chen, Brianne Connizzo, Edward Damiano, Kenneth R. Lutchen, Hadi T. Nia, Michael L. Smith, Dimitrije StamenovicBela Suki

Research Faculty:  Elizabeth Bartolak-Suki, Katie Bentley, Jeroen Eyckmans

Affiliated Faculty: Michael Albro, Elise MorganTommaso Ranzani, Katherine Yanhang Zhang, Xin Zhang

Emeritus: Evan Evans

Affiliated Research Centers

BME Biomechanics and Mechanobiology in the news:

Photoacoustic Stimulation with Single-Neuron Precision Developed by a BU Team

By Caroline Amato An article by a BU team entitled “Non-genetic Photoacoustic Stimulation of Single Neurons” will appear in Light: Science & Applications. This research is led by Professors Chen Yang (ECE, Chem, MSE) and Ji-Xin Cheng (ECE, BME, MSE) in collaboration with Professor John White (BME) and Professor Heng-Ye Man... More

3 BME Professors Elected to IAMBE

Congratulations to BU BME Professors Chris Chen, Joyce Wong and Mark Grinstaff on being elected 2021 Fellows of The International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering. More

Joyce Wong Named President-Elect of AIMBE

Professor Joyce Wong (BME, MSE), has been named president-elect of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), one of the foremost biomedical engineering societies in the country. Her term as president will begin in 2022. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., and numbering 50,000 members, including the nation’s most accomplished biomedical... More

One Small Step For A Mouse: Using Information Science to Understand the Brain

by Allison Kleber How does learning a new skill or process change the physical structure of the brain? Using techniques from data science and high-dimensional statistics, Professors Bobak Nazer (ECE), Venkatesh Saligrama (ECE, SE), and Xue Han (BME), aim to find out. Their project, titled “Discovering Changes in Networks: Fundamental Limits, More

Spotting Osteoarthritis When It Starts

Albro and team develop Raman spectroscope to diagnose the degenerative disease By Patrick L. Kennedy With a potentially game-changing application of laser technology to a disease that affects more than 30 million Americans, Michael Albro (ME, MSE, BME) and colleagues have garnered a research grant from the Arthritis Foundation. The team’s new... More

A Tool to Measure Cartilage Health

Professor Michael Albro (ME, MSE, BME) has successfully developed technology that can assess cartilage health and detect early signs of degeneration: the Raman arthroscope. The tool uses light technology and is inserted into a patient’s joint with a hypodermic needle.  It is a “game changer" for patients with osteoarthritis. More

Three ENG Faculty Named AIMBE Fellows

Three ENG faculty members have been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE): Associate Professor Doug Densmore (ECE, BME), Associate Professor Mo Khalil (BME), and Professor Katherine Zhang (ME, BME, MSE). More

Society For Biomaterials Honors Professor Joyce Wong

Professor Joyce Wong received the prestigious 2020 Clemson Award for Basic Research. The award acknowledges an original and outstanding contribution to the basic knowledge and understanding of the interaction between materials and tissue. More

Joyce Wong Elected National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Whether innovating COVID-19 negative pressure isolation tents for hospitals, devising a way to image and treat abdominal surgical adhesions, or creating a method to enhance tissue engineering, Wong has adopted a mindset of innovation. More