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Peter M Pinsky

Peter M Pinsky

PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Civil Engineering (1981)
M.Sc, University of Toronto, Civil Engineering (1971)
B.Sc. (Hons), University of Wales, Swansea, Civil Engineering (1969)


(650) 723-9327

Pinsky works in the theory and practice of computational mechanics with a particular interest in multiphysics problems in biomechanics. His work uses the close coupling of techniques for molecular, statistical and continuum mechanics with biology, chemistry and clinical science. Areas of current interest include the mechanics of human vision (ocular mechanics) and the mechanics of hearing. Topics in the mechanics of vision include the mechanics of transparency, which investigates the mechanisms by which corneal tissue self-organizes at the molecular scale using collagen-proteoglycan-ion interactions to explain the mechanical resilience and almost perfect transparency of the tissue and to provide a theoretical framework for engineered corneal tissue replacement. At the macroscopic scale, advanced imaging data is used to create detailed models of the 3-D organization of collagen fibrils and the results used to predict outcomes of clinical techniques for improving vision as well as how diseased tissue mechanically degrades. Theories for mass transport and reaction are being developed to model metabolic processes and swelling in tissue. Current topics in the hearing research arena include multiscale modeling of hair-cell mechanics in the inner ear including physical mechanisms for the activation of mechanically-gated ion channels. Supporting research addresses the mechanics of lipid bilayer cell membranes and their interaction with the cytoskeleton. Recent past research topics include computational acoustics for exterior, multifrequency and inverse problems; and multiscale modeling of transdermal drug delivery. Professor Pinsky currently serves as Chair of the Mechanics and Computation Group within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford.