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University of Connecticut School of Engineering Cellular Mechanics Laboratory

Research Interests

The goal of Dr. Lykotrafitis’ laboratory is to study, by combining experimental, clinical, and computational investigation, how changes in the biomechanical properties of cells and subcellular structures influence, and are influenced by, the onset and progression of SCD to support diagnosis, pharmacotherapy and prevention of life threatening complications. The overall objective is to quantitatively understand the biophysical mechanisms related to hydroxyurea and its effect on sickle erythrocytes in vitro. Dr. Lykotrafitis’ laboratory currently combines experimental techniques conducted via AFM with molecular dynamics simulations.


  • Large scale molecular dynamics simulations of cellular membranes and filaments
  • Experimental and in silico study of the neuronal axon
  • Mapping of SK2 channels on neurons
  • Modeling of the RBC
  • Modeling of Hb fibers in SCD
  • Characterization of the adhesion between specific RBC surface receptors and ligands in SCD
  • Viscoelastic properties of RBCs via Atomic force microscopy
  • Optical techniques in Biomedical Engineering
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Modeling of social behavior - Building evacuation