Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 11/29/2005

Tuesday, 11/29/2005
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)

Professor Donald Gaver
Tulane University
Department of Biomedical Engineering
(Currently Visiting Professor in the Levich Institute and Biomedical Engineering Department)


"The Importance of Surfactant Physicochemical Hydrodynamics in Pulmonary Atelectrauma"

ABSTRACT


The lung consists of many bifurcating airways that terminate with alveoli, the site of gas exchange. Surfactant, a protein-phospholipid mixture, is released from alveolar type-II pneumocytes, and has the primary function of dynamically reducing the surface tension of the lining fluid. Without proper surfactant molecular function the lung is micro-mechanically unstable, leading to airway closure and insufficient gas exchange. This presentation will focus on theoretical and in-vitro experimental investigations of pulmonary airway reopening. We present our observations of cellular damage to epithelial cells as a result of the migration of a bubble progressing along the cell surface and relate the observed damage to stress magnitudes predicted from computational investigations of model systems. Finally, we investigate novel forms of mechanical ventilation that may protect the lung from atelectrauma by taking specific advantage of the dynamic surface tension behavior of pulmonary surfactant.

BRIEF ACADEMIC/EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND:
  • 1988 Ph.D., Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL., Thesis advisor: Dr. James B. Grotberg.
  • 7/99- Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
  • 9/03- Director, Center for Computational Sciences at Tulane and Xavier Universities, New Orleans, LA (Associate Director, 4/01-9/03)
  • 7/98- Assistant Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
  • 7/98- Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
  • 7/93-6/99 Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
  • 1/90-6/93 Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
  • 7/88-12/89 Pulmonary Research Fellow, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
  • 7/86-9/86 Graduate Research Assistant, General Motors Research Laboratories, Warren, MI.
  • 6/81-9/81 Technical Aide, Tetra Tech. Inc., Pasadena, CA.
  • 6/80-9/80 Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Research Assistant sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Supervisor: Dr. G. Paul Neitzel.
  • 6/78-9/78 Research Assistant, Systems Exploration Inc., Monterey, CA.

CURRENT RESEARCH:

Biofluid mechanics, pulmonary mechanics, bioremediation.