An invited commentary was published by BMBL in the Biophysical Journal on the potential of cellular mechanics and mechanobiology in prevention and management of obesity (Franz, Biophys J 2014. 106:1231-2). The World Health Organization reports that over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese in 2008, and that obesity and overweight is the fifth leading risk for global death. Along with developed countries, it increasingly affects low- and middle-income countries. Here, children are particularly susceptible to inadequate high-fat and high-sugar nutrition that combined with low levels of physical activity leads to a rapid increase in childhood obesity.
Malobogo Ngoepe very recently joined BMBL as postdoctoral researcher. Malebogo obtained PhD from the University of Oxford with research investigating, through computational modelling, the formation of thrombus in cerebral aneurysms. At BMBL, Malebogo will apply her expertise in a project on biomaterial and cell therapies for myocardial infarction while also continuing her research in thrombosis formation with the University of Oxford and the University College London. We are excited about having Malebogo with us.
In the next months, the Biomechanics and Mechanobiology Lab will move to the Division of Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Human Biology of UCT. This change is connected with Tom Franz having been offered the position of Head of the Division of Biomedical Engineering. While BMBL will move to new offices and labs, the current research trusts and collaborations of BMBL will not be affected by the move. Biomaterial and cell injection therapies for myocardial infarction remain the primary research focus for which substantial grant applications are in process. Follow BMBL's move and get updates on new contact details and location on this web page.
The paper "Studying the influence of hydrogel injections into the infarcted left ventricle using the element-free Galerkin method" was published in the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering [full-text]. The paper reports on work with collaborators to develop a strain invariant-based stored energy function that accounts for the passive mechanical behaviour of the myocardium. An additive homogenization approach was introduced for the incorporation of biomaterial injections in the infarct region. The numerical framework was implemented in a bespoke code based on the element-free Galerkin method.