BME Seminar: Mechanics and Mesh Complications: Engineering Novel Solutions for Prolapse Repairs, Dr. Katrina Knight, University of Pittsburgh

Monday, April 24, 2023
12:00 pm to 12:50 pm
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Seminar Series
Monday, April 24, 2023
12:00pm – 12:50pm

Mechanics and Mesh Complications: Engineering Novel Solutions for Prolapse Repairs

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Katrina Knight, PhD
MWRI BIRCWH Scholar and Assistant Professor
Department of Bioengineering
University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: Pelvic organ prolapse (prolapse) significantly impacts the quality-of-life of millions of women world-wide. Surgical repairs of prolapse often involve the use of synthetic mesh. Though successful, mesh usage has been hampered by unacceptably high complication rates. The exact etiology of mesh complications is likely multi-factorial. Understanding the mechanisms of mesh complications is critical to developing novel solutions for prolapse repair and to improving patient outcomes. This talk will highlight the interdisciplinary approach (computational modeling, mechanical testing, and animal models) that we use to define the problems associated with current polypropylene meshes used in urogynecologic surgeries. Secondly, this talk will demonstrate how we are using our improved understanding of mechanisms of mesh complications to develop a novel device for prolapse repair. Ultimately, it is our goal that this research will lead to a product(s) and/or treatment(s) that will benefit the millions of women impacted with this condition world-wide.  

Bio: A native of Columbia, SC, Dr. Knight received a PhD (2017) in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) and a B.S. (2009) in Biochemistry from Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC), a Historically Black College and University. Prior to joining the Bioengineering Faculty in May 2021 as an Assistant Professor and a BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Training Program) Scholar, Dr. Knight was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Throughout her graduate and post-graduate matriculation, Dr. Knight was trained by leading experts in the urogynecology field, Dr. Steven Abramowitch (bioengineer) and Dr. Pamela Moalli (pelvic floor reconstructive surgeon and researcher), whom she now refers to as colleagues. Dr. Knight considers herself to be a Translational Biomedical Engineer. She has extensive training in biomechanics (i.e., mechanical testing of soft tissues and synthetic meshes/slings), computational modeling, and device design and development. Dr. Knight was also rigorously trained in the biological aspects of assessing the host response to devices and in animal research/surgery. Ultimately, Dr. Knight’s research aims to improve the lives of women with pelvic floor disorders through the development of novel and innovative treatments while concomitantly increasing the number of minorities pursuing an education and/or career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

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Biomedical Engineering
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