Biological Soft Matter Mechanics Lab
Prof. Guy K. German
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Our research focuses on understanding and controlling the mechanics and function of soft biological tissues; in particular tissue barriers. Our primary goal is to develop physical insight into these complex biological materials by understanding their inherent physical and mechanical properties across a wide range of length-scales. Currently we are exploring the mechanopathology of bacterial skin infections, and the impact of nanoparticle toxicity, ageing, and UV photodamage on the composition, structure, mechanical properties, and integrity of endothelial and epithelial tissue barriers.


The mechanics and function of tissue interfaces.

The body contains many tissue layers that sit at interfaces. Epidermal skin tissue, endothelial tissue lining blood vessels and bronchial epithelial tissue lining the respiratory tract all play vital roles as semi-selective barriers that enable the transmission of essential compounds across the barrier whilst preventing the passage of harmful pathogens. When these tissue barriers become compromised they can lose their functionality and mechanical integrity. Tissue barriers can become damaged in many ways. For instance, ageing, extreme environmental conditions, dry skin disorders and aggressive cleansing required for sterile healthcare environments can all cause skin to crack or chap. Skin diseases also commonly cause swelling and the formation of painful exudative lesions. From an engineering perspective, skin cracking and lesion formation result from mechanical failure in the tissue. We seek to understand the multi-scale mechanics of tissues and explore how the mechanical integrity, function and mechanisms of failure can be affected by environmental conditions, bacterial infections, nanoparticle toxicity and even cosmetic treatments. 

Lab Associations:
The Biological Soft Matter Mechanics Lab is a member of the Binghamton University Biofilm Research Center (BBRC).
 Research Supported by: