REU student: Madelyn Ball
University of New Hampshire
The Frame Lab examines 2-phase low Re flow in the microcirculation.
Two aspects of this flow include the rheology, or physical properties,
of the flow, and the biological interface to sense flow and affect changes
in flow distribution by altering the blood vessel diameters. Flow
distribution directly means oxygen distribution because the particles
(red blood cells) carry the oxygen. Of paramount importance is the location
of biological cellular receptors within cells of the blood vessel walls
that bind to bioactive agents and cause the vasoactive responses to constrict
or dilation the blood vessels, changing where the red blood cells will go.
Several receptor systems have been identified to play a role in how inflammation
adversely affects changes in flow distribution within the smallest arterioles
(10 microns diameter). These include the adrenergic receptors, and two classes
of cytokine receptors that bind to interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-8. Using
immunohistochemical procedures, the locations of these receptors can be
identified to help us understand the hierarchy of control of blood flow
and oxygen delivery in normal and diseased (inflamed) tissues.