Michael B. Lawrence


  • BA, Rice University
  • PhD, Rice University
  • Postdoc, Harvard University

Primary Appointment

  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Research Interest(s)

Vascular and Molecular Engineering

Research Description

Our laboratory is developing applications of molecular mechanics to the challenges of targeted drug and gene delivery. To increase specificity and reduce toxic side effects, we are incorporating leukocyte adhesion receptors into liposomes and polymeric microparticles containing encapsulated therapeutics to target defective cells with high specificity. To this end, we are using a mutagenesis approach coupled with biophysical analysis of mechanically stressed bonds to identify the controlling features of adhesion receptors that permit binding in the presence of fluid shear forces.

Additionally, we have developed several model flow systems to examine the dynamics of platelet-leukocyte-vessel wall interactions that take place during the acute phases of an inflammatory challenge or the formation of blood clots on the vessel wall. Common to interactions between platelets, leukocytes, and the vessel wall is the involvement of a family of receptors called selectins that support transient adhesions in which leukocytes and platelets roll along the vessel wall in shear flow. These studies have significance for the understanding of the regulatory effects of blood flow, adhesion receptor expression, and chemokines on inflammatory responses and blood clotting.

Selected Publications

  • Wang C, Perez M, Helmke B, Viola F, Lawrence M. Integration of acoustic radiation force and optical imaging for blood plasma clot stiffness measurement. PloS one. 2015;10(6): e0128799. PMID: 26042775 | PMCID: PMC4456080
  • Tlaxca J, Rychak J, Ernst P, Konkalmatt P, Shevchenko T, Pizarro T, Pizzaro T, Rivera-Nieves J, Klibanov A, Lawrence M. Ultrasound-based molecular imaging and specific gene delivery to mesenteric vasculature by endothelial adhesion molecule targeted microbubbles in a mouse model of Crohn's disease. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 2012;165(3): 216-25. PMID: 23142578 | PMCID: PMC3711027
  • Mauldin F, Viola F, Hamer T, Ahmed E, Crawford S, Haverstick D, Lawrence M, Walker W. Adaptive force sonorheometry for assessment of whole blood coagulation. Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry. 2010;411(9): 638-44. PMID: 20096680 | PMCID: PMC2911630
  • Bailey A, Lawrence M, Shang H, Katz A, Peirce S. Agent-based model of therapeutic adipose-derived stromal cell trafficking during ischemia predicts ability to roll on P-selectin. PLoS computational biology. 2009;5(2): e1000294. PMID: 19247427 | PMCID: PMC2636895
  • Paschall C, Lawrence M. L-selectin shear thresholding modulates leukocyte secondary capture. Annals of biomedical engineering. 2008;36(4): 622-31. PMID: 18299990 | PMCID: PMC3711019
  • Schmidt B, Huang P, Breuer K, Lawrence M. Catch strip assay for the relative assessment of two-dimensional protein association kinetics. Analytical chemistry. 2008;80(4): 944-50. PMID: 18217724 | PMCID: PMC3335339
  • Paschall C, Guilford W, Lawrence M. Enhancement of L-selectin, but not P-selectin, bond formation frequency by convective flow. Biophysical journal. 2007;94(3): 1034-45. PMID: 17890384 | PMCID: PMC2186251
  • Ham A, Goetz D, Klibanov A, Lawrence M. Microparticle adhesive dynamics and rolling mediated by selectin-specific antibodies under flow. Biotechnology and bioengineering. 2006;96(3): 596-607. PMID: 16917925 | PMCID: PMC3711028
  • Kadash K, Lawrence M, Diamond S. Neutrophil string formation: hydrodynamic thresholding and cellular deformation during cell collisions. Biophysical journal. 2004;86(6): 4030-9. PMID: 15189898 | PMCID: PMC1304303
  • Rinko L, Lawrence M, Guilford W. The molecular mechanics of P- and L-selectin lectin domains binding to PSGL-1. Biophysical journal. 2003;86(1): 544-54. PMID: 14695299 | PMCID: PMC1303823