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K-State Today

February 11, 2015



Engineering applied to human tissue seminar today

By Steve Warren

The K-State student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society invites you to attend a seminar related to the application of engineering principles to the understanding and remediation of heart valve disease.

Jane Grande-Allen, professor in the bioengineering department at Rice University, will present "Experimental Frameworks for Analysis of Heart Valve Mechanobiology" at 3:30 p.m. today in 1107 Fiedler Hall. 

A question-and-answer session will follow this seminar. This event is supported with funding from the K-State Student Governing Association, the College of Engineering, and the electrical and computer engineering department.

Grande-Allen's lecture abstract:
Heart valve disease has devastating consequences for the health and survival of its victims. Valve disease is widely prevalent in our society, with valve replacement or repair in almost 100,000 people in the United States and 275,000 people worldwide each year. Myxomatous, or "floppy" disease of the mitral valve alone affects up to 5 percent of the population, and calcific aortic valve disease is a major problem associated with aging, obesity, diabetes and smoking. The treatment of these conditions represents substantial health care costs. Despite these statistics, the basic biology of heart valves is sparsely studied and barely understood, and there are no cures for valve disease other than expensive surgical repairs or replacements, nor any medications specific for valve disease. The focus of my research group is to comprehensively characterize and perturb the valvular tissue and cell phenotypes in normal and diseased heart valves, as the first major step in finding the causes of heart valve diseases, in identifying the early stages and patients at risk, in developing drugs for its treatment, and for ultimately reducing the incidence of the disease in the population. Our research has helped to define the nascent field of valve mechanobiology and furthermore developed tools such as bioreactors to make these research studies possible. These investigations have covered the distribution and regulation of the extracellular matrix within the valve and how these are governed by the mechanical loads experienced by the cells within native valves, engineered valve tissues, or cells grown in 2D cultures. More recently, we have begun to develop platforms to investigate the mechanobiology of valvular endothelial cells and the associated regulation of hemostatic behavior.