Our research work focuses on the micro-to-macro relationship in the mechanical function of biological organs, tissues and cells. We are investigating the underlying morphological, mechanical, transport and physicochemical mechanisms, and their integration from the micro level into the overall macro behavior of tissue and organs.
Our studies are aimed at understanding and quantifying fundamental processes of normal and pathological function, as a basis for development of improved treatments strategies.
Yoram Lanir, D.Sc.
The Marcus Reiner Chair in Mechanics & Rheology (1998-2008)
Professor Emeritus (2008 -)
Office phone: 04-8294113
Office Room: 356
The Coronary Circulation
The function of the coronary circulation is to convey blood to the capillary network and to nourish the myocardium. Ischemic heart diseases, which impair the coronary flow, are the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in the western world. Coronary flow is of pivotal importance in determining biological responses leading to initiation of common pathologies such as atherosclerosis and hypertensive remodeling.
The excessive difficulties in measuring flow in-vivo, leaves computerized simulation as the only viable methodological alternative to address questions and dilemmas of high clinical and research importance
Soft Tissues Structure, Mechanics and Growth
Biological tissues mechanical properties are the key factor in the body mechanical function. The internal structure of tissue’s constituents is the key determinant of its properties. Using advanced theoretical and experimental methodologies we study the structure – function relationship of tendon, skin, blood vessels and cardiac tissue, from the micro-scale to the overall organ function.
Being living materials, both structure and properties of tissues adapt to changes in their mechanical loading, thus leading to growth and remodeling. We explore the processes of stress dependent biological turnover of tissues constituents, and by application of structure-function relationship, study their manifestation in the global tissue properties.
Endothelial Cells Response to Hemodynamic Forces
Endothelial cells (ECs), which form the inner lining of blood vessels, are exposed to hemodynamic forces of the flowing blood and respond distinctly to the nature of these forces’ and their magnitude. Using advanced microscopic methodologies, the ECs response to flow conditions is studied in a controlled environment, with the goal of establishing quantitative cause-effect relationships between flow and ECs response under both normal and pathological conditions.
Vascular remodeling is a complex biological process resulting in modified blood vessels structure and properties. It occurs during development and maturity, and under normal (e.g., growth, exercise) and pathologic conditions (e.g., wound healing, hypertension, atherosclerosis, tumor progression, diabetic retinopathy). Hemodynamic forces of the flowing blood either initiate or are important mediators in these remodeling processes.
Endothelial cells (ECs) are of central importance in this process. Being in contact with the flowing blood, they are exquisitely sensitive sensors and transducers of hemodynamic forces. In so doing, ECs themselves remodel, structurally and functionally. Despite significant progress, the specific responses of EC to different types of in vivo loading (shear stress, pressure and stress induced stretch), and their composite effects, are still insufficiently understood. Focusing on the cytoskeleton (CSK) which is both the cell structural frame and a major mechano-transducer, we developed a novel experimental platform for systematic study of the effects of hemodynamic forces on the CSK of cultured arterial ECs, in terms of their morphology, mechanical properties, spontaneous nano-motion and ultra-structure. The long term impact of the research will be to elucidate the roles of CSK in ECs remodeling and to establish knowledge-base for novel targeted interventions aimed at athero-protection.
– Postdoc position: Control of the Coronary Circulation
– PhD position: Blood Vessels Mechanics and Activation
– PhD position: Tissues Growth and Remodeling