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McKelvey School of Engineering

BME Seminar: Raffaella De Vita

Thursday, October 21 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Uncas A. Whitaker Hall, 218
6760 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63105, USA

Presenting on "From monologues to dialogues:  An engineering analysis of the vagina"

Raffaella De Vita, Ph.D., professor and associate department head in the Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics Department at Virginia Tech, will speak at 10:00 CST on Thursday, October 21, 2021 in Whitaker 218.

Pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse represent a major public health concern in the United States, affecting one third of adult women. These disorders are determined by structural and mechanical alterations of the pelvic organs, their supporting muscles and connective tissues that occur mainly during pregnancy, vaginal delivery, and aging. In this talk, I will present the research that we are currently conducting in the STRETCH Lab to characterize the mechanical behavior of the main female pelvic organ: the vagina. Specifically, I will discuss the first quantitative results on the large deformations, tear propagation mechanisms, and contractions of the vagina under biaxial loading. Our findings can potentially transform current surgical reconstruction methods and post-operative rehabilitation protocols for pelvic floor disorders.

Host: Dr. Lori Setton, Washington University in St. Louis

Parking is available outside of Whitaker Hall in the East End Garage. Click here for the map. If taking the subway, the nearest metrolink stop is Skinker.

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology, Medicine & Health

Biomedical Engineering


Event Contact

Mimi Hilburg | mhilburg@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Raffaella De Vita is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. She received her Laurea in Mathematics from University of Naples II, Italy, in 2000 and her M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Pittsburgh in 2003 and 2005, respectively. She is the recipient of the American Society of Biomechanics President’s award, the NSF CAREER award, the PECASE Award, and several awards for research, teaching, and outreach excellence at Virginia Tech. She is a fellow of the ASME and AIMBE, and she serves as associate editor for the Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Journal of Elasticity. Her research focuses on determining the relationship between the mechanical behavior and the complex structure of biological systems using theoretical, computational, and experimental methods.

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