Event Location
3540 Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

10:15 a.m., 3540 Engineering Building

Refreshments Served at 10:00 a.m.


Making Waves: Using Dynamics to Understand Behavior of Cells and Tissues

Philip Bayly

Lilyan & E. Lisle Hughes Professor and Department Chair, Mechanical Engineering


Waves and oscillations may be intrinsic to a mechanical system, or induced to probe the constitutive relationships between loading (stress) and deformation (strain). The first part of the talk will describe how we measure the mechanical behavior of brain tissue in vivo, using tagged magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR elastography (MRE) to visualize shear waves in the brain. The second part of the talk will focus on wavelike oscillations in cilia and flagella: thin, flexible organelles that beat rhythmically to propel cells or move fluid. We have developed new mathematical models of flagella motion, and found new solutions to existing models which can be used to evaluate the plausibility of long-standing hypotheses. Both these projects exploit specialized imaging and image processing techniques, combined with models of the underlying mechanics, to provide new information on the behavior of these important biological systems.


Professor Bayly studies impact, vibration, wave motion, and instability in mechanical and biomedical systems.  He uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the mechanics of brain injury and brain development.  He also studies the nonlinear dynamic phenomena that underlie the oscillatory movements of cells and microorganisms.  He has been a member of the faculty at Washington University since 1993. In 1996, he was the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.  In 2004, he was awarded Engineering Professor of the Year and he has twice received the School of Engineering & Applied Science "Big Fish" Award for graduate student mentoring.  

From 1988 to 1990, Professor Bayly worked as an engineer for Pitney Bowes in Stamford, CT and for the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, MA.