Eleftheria Michalaki

Doctoral Candidate

Iraklion, Greece

Co-Advisor: Professor Alex Dunn

Education B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Greece, 2014.

Research Focus:
The ability of endothelial cells (ECs) that line the interior of blood vessels to sense and respond to fluid flow is an essential component of cardiovascular development, homeostasis, and disease. In particular, ECs subject to weak, oscillatory, or spatially complex flows (often called “disturbed flow” in the medical community) initiate a series of signaling events that leads to many vessel responses. Although previous reports consider the influence of spatial distributions of wall shear stress, the role of geometric complexities and physiological fluid flow found in the circulatory system on EC alignment and migration remains poorly understood. Our goal is to investigate the migration and structural reorganization of ECs in the presence of flows with defined spatial inhomogeneities in wall shear stress. Thus, we are developing microfluidic channels in order to understand how different vessel geometries form to elucidate roles in angiogenesis and valve formation in the circulatory system.