Peter Butler Research

Red Blood Cell Membrane Mechanics

Red blood cells must bend in order to fit through small capillaries, where they release oxygen and take up carbon dioxide. There are also many other areas in biology where cell membrane bending influences the biology of cells and, consequently health and disease in the human body. We have developed a new way to measure membrane bending which uses pulsed lasers and analysis of fluorescence fluctuations.

In this project, the student will be working with human and animal cells, high tech fluorescence microscopy, and computer analysis tools to determine the mechanical properties of cells and the ability of membranes to bend. A student working on this project should have some experience in biology, mathematics, and engineering and have a strong interest in research at the cellular and molecular level.

REU Faculty Research Projects

Research Experience for Undergraduates

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  • Application deadline is January 22, 2018

Contact Information

  • Jenna Sieber
    Graduate Program Assistant
    REU Administrative Assistant
    205 Hallowell Building


The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

205 Hallowell Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614