Purnendu Chatterjee Professor in Engineering Biological Systems Department of Bioengineering
My laboratory studies the molecular basis of cell movements. In particular, we are interested in the way that the cytoskeleton generates, transmits, and responds to forces, and we aim to determine how these forces are coordinated for cell shape changes such as those involved in motility. To enable these studies, we are developing new instrumentation and measurement technologies to quantify cell and molecular mechanics. Our tools include optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), optical trapping, and microfabrication, as well as biophysical modeling and simulation. Based on our understanding of cell and molecular mechanics, we are developing medical devices that aid in clinical diagnosis and treatment of disease. We have established a collaboration with Professor Irina Conboy, and look forward to applying our techniques to additional studies of stem cell proliferation and differentiation.