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A cell plan with a purpose

Xiaohui “Frank” Zhang is integrating physics, immunology and biology to develop a nanodevice that could provide a new treatment for stroke, thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Zhang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics and faculty member in the bioengineering program, leads an interdisciplinary research team that targets cardiovascular disease by focusing on cell communication. The team also studies the transmission of mechanical signals across the cell membrane and monitors the interplay between mechanical signals and biochemical activities. The goal is to develop a mechanically switchable nanodevice for targeted drug therapy.

A cell plan with a purpose

According to assistant professor Frank Zhang, understanding how and why white blood cells attach to blood vessel walls may be critical in treating atherosclerosis.