Biomechanics of the Female Reproductive System: Role of Smooth Muscle Contractility

BME Seminar: Kristin S. Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Tulane University

WHERE: Virtual

WHEN: March 10, 2022 3:30 pm-4:30 pmADD TO CALENDAR

Biomechanics of the Female Reproductive System: Role of Smooth Muscle Contractility: BME Seminar: Kristin S. Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Tulane University

Abstract:
The tissues of the female reproductive system drastically remodel their shape and function in response to altered biomechanical and biochemical signals during processes such as pregnancy and aging. Tissue dynamics may include both passive remodeling of the extracellular matrix composition and organization, as well as the active response via changes in the amount, organization, and contractile response of smooth muscle cells.  Lack of adaptations in response to variable pressures may lead to structural instability in the female reproductive system, contributing to significant health problems, such as obstetric injury, preterm birth, and pelvic organ prolapse. The vagina is central to pelvic floor support; however, the relationship between vaginal extracellular matrix, smooth muscle contractility, and mechanical properties are not fully elucidated. In this talk, I will present our efforts to delineate the mechanical role of smooth muscle cells and potential interactions with elastic fibers in the murine vagina, and how these relationships evolve in a mouse model of pelvic organ prolapse and with reproductive age.

Bio:
Dr. Kristin S. Miller is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University. Dr. Miller’s research interests are focused on the mechanobiology of soft tissues, including evaluating the role of elastic fibers and contractility in the female reproductive system. Before joining Tulane, Dr. Miller conducted postdoctoral research at Yale University and received her PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2018, Kristin was awarded the NSF CAREER award to develop a biomechanical model that can predict how elastic fibers in the soft tissues of the female reproductive system changes in response to mechanical pressure. In 2021, Kristin was awarded the YC Fung Early Career Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Zoom Link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/96508834308

Organized by:
Dr. Brendon Baker,
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Dr. David Nordsletten,
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Cardiac Surgery