BioEngenuity Keynote

The third BioEngenuity Keynote & Interactive Poster Session from the IBME.
When May 31, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where The Richard Doll Lecture Theatre & Atrium
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01865 617706
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Fluid Flow and Chemokine Transport in the Lymphatic System

James E. Moore Jr., PhD

Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London 

The lymphatic system has many recognized important roles in normal physiology and in a variety of disease conditions. In addition to returning fluid from interstitial tissue spaces to the blood circulation, it also serves as an important transport route for immune cells and cancer metastases.  All of the deadliest forms of cancer spread through the lymphatic system. Despite the importance in so many causes of death and disability, little is actually known about transport mechanisms in this obscure system.

We have quantified various aspects of lymphatic system pumping based on a multiscale modeling approach combined with a unique experimental skill set. In addition to the general insight on lymphatic pumping, we have elucidated the phenomena by which the lymphatic system is able to generate negative interstitial tissue pressures while still generating positive fluid flow out of those tissues. This resolves a decades-old mystery of basic physiology.

Along the pathway back to the blood vessels, all lymph must pass through at least one lymph node.  These are highly compartmentalized structures in which leukocytes process antigens and tumor cells. There are also specialized direct communication ports with the blood circulation in which fluid and cells can traverse in either direction. Our studies of flow patterns and mass transport in lymph nodes reveal that under basal conditions only about 10% of the incoming flow passes through the cortex, or the innermost part of the node where the T and B cells reside.  Upon antigen recognition, nodes quickly adapt their flow resistance to send more of the flow through the cortex.  These flow patterns are also important for shaping chemokine concentration gradients.

The long term goals of this research include developing better strategies for treating fluid balance disorders such as lymphedema, and also contributing to the knowledge base of other lymphatic disorders with the insight provided by mass transport analysis. 


Speaker Biography


Prof. Moore was born in Toccoa, Georgia, and received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 1987, his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1988 and his Ph.D. in 1991, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was the first PhD student of Prof. David N. Ku, MD PhD, and his thesis work was a collaborative project with vascular surgeon Prof. Christopher Zarins and vascular pathologist Prof. Seymour Glagov. He had postdoctoral training at the Swiss Institute of Technology at Lausanne, 1991 – 1994, where he also helped set up a new biomedical engineering lab. From 1994 - 2003 Prof. Moore served as a professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, Florida International University. He moved to Texas A&M University in 2003, where he served as the Carolyn S. and Tommie E. Lohman ’59 Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of Graduate Studies. In Jaunary 2013, he joined Imperial College as the Bagrit and Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Medical Device Design, and Director of Research for the Department of Bioengineering.


Prof. Moore’s research interests include Cardiovascular Biomechanics, Stents, Implantable Devices, Atherosclerosis, and the Lymphatic System. His research focuses on the role of biomechanics in the formation and treatment of diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. His cardiovascular biomechanics research includes the first finite element models of artery walls to include residual stress, the first studies of the effects of combined flow and stretch on vascular endothelium, early work on the effects of myocardial contraction on coronary artery flow patterns, and the first studies of the effects of stents on both blood flow patterns and artery wall stress. This work resulted in the development of two novel stent designs aimed at optimizing post-implant biomechanics for the prevention of restenosis, as well as new testing devices for implants that employ more physiologic mechanical forces (currently marketed by Bose). His work on the effects of stretch gradients on cells was awarded best paper of the year in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering for 2011. In collaboration with Prof. Kumbakonam Rajagopal, he developed constitutive models of strain-accelerated degradation of polymers used in medical implants. His research on lymphatic system biomechanics, initiated in 2004 with Prof. David Zawieja, has provided unprecedented insight into the pumping characteristics of the system and the transport of nitric oxide, antigens, and chemokines in lymphatic tissues. He is currently developing two technologies for preventing and resolving secondary lymphedema, which typically forms subsequent to cancer surgery. Along with his funding from government, charity, and industry sources, Prof. Moore has received multiple patents for medical devices and testing equipment.  Prof. Moore has also co-founded two startup companies.


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