MAE Seminar: Soft Tissue Biotransport Models for Brain and Solid Tumors


4:00 pm-5:00 pm
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303 MAE-A
939 Sweetwater Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611-6250


Soft Tissue Biotransport Models for Brain and Solid Tumors

Malisa Sarntinoranont
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Local drug distribution and heterogeneous uptake are increasingly important considerations when targeting tumors and the central nervous system. Rational design of regional therapies requires new tools to evaluate drug transport issues specific to tumor and CNS microenvironments. In my laboratory, we are developing 3D computational models of tumors and brains from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and dynamic contrast enhanced-MRI data. These models account for underlying tissue structures and physiologic flow conditions in the extracellular space. In tumors, we account for heterogeneous vessel leakiness, the resulting abnormal flow patterns, and the effect on local delivery. In CNS models, we account for the anisotropic effects of embedded white matter fibers on transport. Development of validated computational transport models will aid researchers in determining the potential of new drug compounds and designing effective treatment regimes. Research in extracellular transport is emerging as an increasingly important area of research in drug delivery, since the vast majority of therapeutic agents must traverse this space before reaching their targets. The need for this research has only increased with improved engineering and functionalization of therapeutic agents such as biologics and nanoparticles.

Dr. Sarntinoranont is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida. For most of her career, she has been interested in understanding effects of abnormal tissue stress and flow on disease and therapy.Current research projects include: developing computational flow models for the spinal cord, brain, and solid tumors, experimental transport studies, biphasic tissue modeling, modeling transport in bioreactors, and mechanical testing of soft tissues and biomaterials. Dr. Sarntinoranont received her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. She completed her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley. Her Ph.D. studies focused on modeling the mechanics of growing solid tumors. Her post-doctoral training was at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Division of Bioengineering and Physical Science. She has been a faculty at the University of Florida since 2003.


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