My group applies Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems Approaches to a variety of systems, from ensembles of grains to ensembles of cells. A special focus is on applications to cancer research.
Cell Dynamics: Our recent work indicates that the motor for fast migrating cells is based on reaction-diffusion waves start at the leading edge and propagate down alternating sides of the cell. We found that chemical gradients can start this motor, and steer it, but do not affect cell speed. Our goal is to elucdate how surface chemistry and topography affects this migratory machinery, and how internal waves may be harnessed to control cell behavior. To control surface topography we use nanofabrication approaches pioneered by our collaborator J. Fourkas (Chemistry). We also develop new tools to control the arrangement and dynamics of cell groups via holographic laser tweezers (in collaboration with SK Gupta, UMD). Funded by NIGMS, NSF and NIST.
Cancer Dynamics: In a project funded by a DOD Era of Hope Scholar Award to Dr Stuart Martin, we investigate the mechanical properties of models of circulating tumor cells. We also apply Complex Systems approaches to investigate cancer related biological processes as part of a Cancer Technology interaction between the University of Maryland and the National Cancer Institute, started in the summer of 2006. Work supported by DOD and NIH.
Granular Dynamics: Our
goal is to characterize how interactions between particles in
granular flows can lead to strikingly robust collective
behavior such as memory of prior excitation, and segregation
of particles by size. We developed a novel 3D laser
scanning tomography approach that allows for direct imaging of
the inside of granular flows. This
is allowing us to directly observe individual and collective
behavior of particles in flows. Our
current analysis in collaboration with the Girvan group (UMD)
focuses is on the use of network theory to assess the breaking and reforming of
contact networks in granular flows. Funded by
NSF-DMR and DTRA.
Affiliations: Bioengineering Program, University of Maryland Medical School Oncology Program, Burgers Program in Fluid Dynamicswlosert@umd.edu . Last updated: 8/19/2012