Multiscale modeling of molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ mechanics


Michael Sacks, University of Texas at Austin

Ying Li, University of Connecticut

Alireza Sarvestani, Mercer University


Reza Avaz, University of Texas at Austin

Emma Lejeune, University of Texas at Austin

George Lykotrafitis, University of Connecticut

Zhangli Peng, University of Notre Dame


Mechanics plays a significant role in biological systems. For instance, cells actively sense and respond to the material properties of their local environment. In addition to its chemistry, applied forces, geometry and the viscoelasticity of the extracellular matrix are also important factors in multiple biological processes and pathologies. However, the inherent complexity of biological systems is a substantial barrier to the understanding of their behavior. Moreover, multiple spatial and temporal scales are typically involved due to the hierarchical structures and nested processes in biological systems. These complexities bring challenges and opportunities to experimental, theoretical, and computational investigations of molecular, cellular, tissue and organ mechanics and require close collaboration among scientists from multiple disciplines. The goal of this symposium is to bring together researchers with a variety of backgrounds to exchange ideas, identify and address grand challenges, and to initiate new areas of research. We propose four major themes:

  • Organ Mechanics: Computational modeling of organs, experimental measurement of organ properties, structure-function relations of organs, biological and disease applications of organ mechanics, heart valve disease and intervention.
  • Tissue Mechanics: Constitutive modeling of biological tissues, experimental measurement of tissue properties, tissue remodeling, structure-function relations of tissues, numerical simulations in tissue mechanics, biological and disease applications of tissue mechanics, biomechanics of cartilage and arteries.
  • Cellular and subcellular Mechanics: Cell adhesion, cell motility, and cell force generation in single and cluster of cells including cell collectives. Includes the mechanical properties of single cells, constitutive and computational modeling of cells, single-cell mechanical testing, cell membrane mechanics, cell cytoskeleton, cell-extracellular matrix interactions, mechanotransduction in cells, morphogenesis, intracellular mechanics, multi-cellular structure formation and organization, cellular uptake of nanoparticles, mechanics of actin, microtubule, and intermediate filament networks, mechanics of nucleus, mechanics of cilia.
  • Molecular Mechanics: Deformation of DNA, RNA and proteins, analytical and computational analysis of biomolecules, molecular mechanisms of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction, cell adhesion molecules, mechanics of subcellular structures and organelles, mechanics of endocytosis, viral budding, viral packaging, self-assembly of nanoparticles mediated by organic molecules, mechanosensitive channels.