Soft Tissue Mechanics and Drug Delivery Laboratory
Malisa Sarntinoranont, Ph.D.

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Our research uses principles of continuum mechanics, fluid mechanics, mass transport theory, and pharmacokinetics to investigate flow through tissues, drug transport and the mechanical behavior of biological soft tissues.

Drug Delivery

Local tissue architecture often plays a critical role in the transport of drugs to target cells. As molecules move through tissues, they are subject to tortuous pathways and potential cellular interaction. In the case of larger therapeutic compounds, barriers to transport are often underestimated or overlooked and can often explain why drugs successful in cell culture and in small animals are not successful in human patients. Computational models that take into account local tissue architecture, physiological transport forces, in addition to appropriate physiochemical properties can aid researchers in determining the potential of new drug compounds and designing effective treatment regimes. Research areas include:

  • physiologically-based flow modeling of the brain, spinal cord, and tumors
  • drug transport modeling for controlled release and direct infusions
  • interstitial transport
  • MR-based models and experimentation

Soft Tissue Mechanics

The mechanical behavior of soft tissues is often dependent on a complex interplay of fluid and solid constituents. In cases of traumatic brain injury, local edema and tissue swelling can change the shape of the brain. In solid tumors, cellular proliferation can increase local tissue stresses. In addition, abnormal fluid balances within tissue can lead to edema and increased interstitial fluid pressure. Our research includes:

  • poroelastic and hyperviscoelastic models of soft tissue
  • soft tissue indentation and mechanical testing
  • mechanics of infusion and swelling
  • traumatic brain injury
  • tumor associated tissue deformations
Research Areas 
- Macromolecular Drug Delivery
- Soft Tissue Mechanics
- Physiologically-based Models
- Porous Media
- Computational Modeling


Convection-enhanced delivery to the brain
tumor flow
Modeling interstitial flow in tumors
FE biphasic infusion modeling

Soft tissue testing
  University of Florida, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering