Project #1: Characterization and Modeling of The Capability of Lung Parenchyma to Perform Gas Exchange in Healthy versus Diseased Lungs
Project Team: Mostafa Mobasher (PI), Rafael Song (Co-PI)
Award date: April 2022
Project overview: The proposed project aims at the investigation of the mechanical and gas-exchange processes occurring inside the lung tissue. The greater goal is to better understand the fundamental differences between the behavior of the diseased and healthy lungs from an engineering mechanics standpoint and contribute the gained knowledge to the science and medicine community. The planned research will look into the hydromechanical behavior of the lung alveoli, which are the key gas exchange components of the lung parenchyma. The proposed scope of work includes the development of a constitutive material model that accounts for fluid-structure interaction and time-dependent processes inside the lung. Experimental investigation will aid the characterization of the alveoli hydromechanical response. The experiments will involve stretching and inflation of an alveoli-like organ-on-a-chip setup that will be constructed using the microfabrication technique. The scope of work also includes the investigation of the effects of mechanical damage on the alveoli hydromechanical properties and their ability to perform gas exchange. The resulting computational model would serve as a virtual testing platform that will help improve our understanding of lung disease. With the inclusion of the stochastic nature of real lungs compared to the lung on a chip experimental setup, the model can assist the development of lung disease treatment and prevention methods.