Biomed Faculty Active in Translational Research
Dr. Kenneth A. Barbee
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems
Focus Area: Drug Eluting Stent
Dr. Kenneth Barbee is an Associate Professor at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. Dr. Barbee earned his B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics at the University of Tennessee in 1986 and then went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He was previously a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania (1991 - 1992) and an NIH Research Fellow (1992 - 1995) and Research Associate (1995) in the Department of Pathology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Barbee then went on to become Assistant Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Neurosurgery at the former Allegheny University of the Health Sciences (1995 - 1998), which is now Drexel's College of Medicine.
Dr. Barbee's research interests are focused on the response of cells and tissues to mechanical loading. In the cardiovascular system, he is interested in mechanotransduction mechanisms responsible for the endothelial cell response to flow. The areas of expertise he has brought to bear on this problem are: Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) of living cells in culture to measure the three-dimensional surface topography and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to calculate shear stress distributions by simulating flow over the surface geometries measured by AFM cell-culture models for applying shear stress to endothelial monolayers. Dr. Barbee is also interested in the response of medial smooth muscle cells to the cyclic stretching that occurs in vivo due to the blood pulse. He has developed cell-culture models for applying a biaxial stretch to cultured cells while recording their responses by fluorescence microscopy techniques. In addition to the responses to physiological mechanical stimuli, he is also interested in the response of neural and vascular tissue to the extreme loading conditions associated with traumatic injury. The goals of his work are to establish cellular injury criteria that can be used in the development of protective equipment and to provide an injury model in which the mechanical insult is precisely controlled, the cellular response is measured, and the ability of therapeutic agents to mitigate the injury can be evaluated.