Anand Ramasubramanian and John Lee


Jinann Alzaghari, ’22 Chemical Engineering and Luciana Aguirre Resinowski, ’20 Chemical Engineering, perform a tensile test on a blood clot and subject it to uniaxial strain in order to study the biomechanics of blood.

Deciphering blood clots at engineering intersections

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common causes of death in the U.S., and understanding the formation and dissolution of blood clots has major implications for treatment. A grant partnership between Professors Anand Ramasubramanian (Chemical Engineering) and John Lee (Mechanical Engineering) has resulted in collaborative research among mechanical, chemical and biomedical engineering students and new discoveries in the field of clot biomechanics.  

“We have made some interesting and, we believe, important measurements on how various components inside and outside the platelets embedded in the clot can provide the strength to oppose the forces due to blood flow,” explains Ramasubramanian. 

Work on this project is being performed exclusively by undergraduate and graduate students. They first designed and built a microextensometer, a device to apply micrometer scale displacements, and measured the resistive force from the clots. Then they performed advanced microscopy and quantified the distribution and nature of various clot components, which likely influence the mechanical properties of the clot. Their results may eventually have a direct impact on the procedures and success of stroke treatment. 

Both professors are drawn to this area of research in part because answers lie at the intersection of different fields.

“The mechanics of blood clots and other biological tissues present intriguing challenges because things like strength, stiffness, and ductility are governed by nature’s dynamic role in microscale and at the molecular level. This is very different from more common structural engineering problems that have known properties and more predictable behavior,” says Lee.

“This project is providing our students with the interdisciplinary skills they need to succeed whether they pursue further studies or become engineering professionals,” adds Ramasubramanian. 

Professors with students

Suyog Jitendra Pathare, ’21 MS Biomedical Engineering; Professor John Lee; Luciana Aguirre Resinowski, ’20 Chemical Engineering; and Professor Anand Ramasubramanian

“No matter what future path I choose, I believe that my experiences at SJSU are preparing me to succeed and make an impact on the scientific community.”

Jinann Alzaghari
’22 Chemical Engineering

SJSU Research Foundation 2020 Annual Report