UF Department of Surgery
Office: University of Florida
Box 100286, Gainesville, FL 32610-0286
Malcolm Randall VAMC
1601 SW Archer Rd #112, Gainesville, FL 32608
Department Affiliation: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
BME Graduate Faculty Status
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985
M.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 1992
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
Multiple interventional strategies have been employed over the last several decades to treat patients with clinically significant arterial stenoses, centered primarily on restoring perfusion to distal arterial beds via bypass grafting or angioplasty. While these therapies have been shown to be effective, their long-term durability is often limited by progressive narrowing within the bypass graft or at the site of the angioplasty. It is this inward remodeling, occurring within the vessel wall in response to the local injury, which limits the durability of these treatments.
An association between arterial remodeling and local hemodynamics has been identified; however the biologic mechanisms underlying this observation are only beginning to be understood. Mechanical shear stress, mediated through the endothelium, has been hypothesized to be the major regulator of vascular remodeling. This biologic process may be divided into two components: the detection of signals by the endothelium due to changes in hemodynamics, and the relay of these signals to adjacent cells within the vessel. Both of these areas have been extensively studied, and the cell-cell signaling pathways provide a potential avenue for intervention in this process.
Dr. Berceli’s research focuses on the clinically relevant problem of vein bypass graft failure, and examines the mechanisms underlying accelerated intimal hyperplasia development. Biomechanical forces have been identified as potent regulators of intimal thickening, yet an understanding of the underlying signaling mechanism remains limited. Currently gene delivery and antisense oligonucleotide techniques for use in the vascular system are being developed. Insight into these signaling pathways, in combination with development of these powerful gene inhibition techniques, offers the potential for direct application to the clinical setting.