Strategic Research

Mechanics of development and disease (M.D.D.)

In the group we advance cross-disciplinary research at the interface between engineering, biology and physics. We are interested in deciphering the physical mechanisms of development and disease in biological organisms. We do so by studying how cell and tissue mechanics determine structure and function in these organisms. To that end, we develop biophysical tools carry out in vivo and in vitro mechanical measurements, which we integrate into 2D and 3D physical models of the biological organisms under study. The in silico models we build allow us to make predictive biomechanical analyses of these organisms by studying the necessary and sufficient conditions for their development and disease under conditions very close to the real ones. Our current investigations are focusing on the mechanics of cancer progression and antibiotics resistance.

Main projects

  • 1.

    Biomechanical regulation of cancer progression

    Cancer alters normal mechanical properties of cells in healthy tissues; do such changes feed back into the cancer progression or are they mere byproducts of the disease's?

  • 2.

    Mechanics of antibiotics action and resistance.

    the cell envelope. What is the physical mechanism governing this process? Molecular architecture of the cell envelope changes when bacteria mutate to develop drug resistance. Is there a mechanical component to antibiotics resistance?



Bioinformatics expertise:

Group Leader:

Vito Conte

Principal Investigator

Bioinformatics services offered