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Scholarly Interest Report
J. David Hellums
Professor Emeritus
A. J. Hartsook Professor Emeritus of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering
  • B.S., Ch. E. (1956); M.S. (1957) University of Texas
  • Ph.D. (1961) University of Michigan
Primary Department
   Department of Bioengineering
Research Areas
 Fluid mechanics and transport processes with emphasis in biomedical engineering: reactions of blood and vascular cells under the influence of fluid mechanical stresses, oxygen transport in the microcirculation, blood substitutes
Research Statement

Professor Hellums emphasizes the application of principles of fluid mechanics and transport processes in biology and medicine. The work is carried out in cooperation with biological and medical scientists from both Rice University and the Texas Medical Center.

Human blood platelets, neutrophils, and vascular cells are known to play crucial roles in hemostatic, thrombotic, and inflammatory events in the human vascular system. Hellums and his colleagues have shown that the shear stress field associated with flow in blood vessels plays an important role in determining receptor expression and blood cell reactions. They have developed several reactors for studying these reactions under known, controlled fluid stresses. Rotational viscometers, fiberoptic probes, and flow cytometry are used with fluorophores, specific antibodies, and other inhibitors in studies designed to elucidate the molecular and hydrodynamic factors in blood and vascular cell reactions. Understanding of the kinetics and molecular mechanisms of these cell reactions can aid in development of strategies for prophylaxis and therapy for thrombotic and inflammatory disorders.

Professor Hellums and his colleagues are engaged in studies on flow and transport in the microcirculation with emphasis on oxygen transport. They have developed a unique experimental system that can be used to determine oxygen fluxes to and from hemoglobin solutions and red cell suspensions under carefully controlled conditions simulating the microcirculation. A combination of experimental and mathematical methods are being applied to contribute to the understanding of transport in the microcirculation, and to the mathematical methodology used in simulations of these processes. The methods are used to study the gas transport properties of two important classes of blood substitutes: chemically modified free hemoglobin and artificial red cells. The objective is to obtain experimental and theoretical information that will allow the design of blood surrogates with optimized oxygen transport efficiencies. An additional application of the methods is in improving our understanding of microcirculatory oxygen transport in sickle cell disease and other blood cell disorders.

Selected Publications
 Book chapters

Page, T. C. and J. D. Hellums "Oxygen Transport Properties of Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers: Studies Using Artificial Capillaries and Mathematical Simulation." Blood Substitutes (2004) In Press


Budhiraja, V. and J. D. Hellums "Effect of Hemoglobin Polymerization on Oxygen Transport in Hemoglobin Solutions ." Microvascular Research (accepted (2002))


Budhiraja, V., J. D. Hellums, and J. F. M. Post "Augmentation of Oxygen Transport by Various Hemoglobins as Determined by Pulsed Field Gradient NMR." Microvascular Research (accepted (2001))


Page, T. C., W. R. Light, and J. D. Hellums "Experimental Determination of Intraluminal Oxygen Transport Characteristics in Hemoglobin Based Oxygen Carriers in 10 µm Capillaries." Microvascular Research (submitted (2001))


Chapman, G. B., W. Durante, J. D. Hellums, and A. Schafer "Physiological Cyclic Stretch Causes Cell Cycle Arrest in Cultured Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells." Am. J. Physiol, Heart Circ. Physiol., 278 (2000) : H748-H754.


Chow, T., J. D. Hellums, and P. Thiagarajan "Thrombin Receptor Activating Peptide (SFLLRN) Potentiates Shear-Induced Platelet Microvesculation of Platelets." J. Lab. Clinical Medicine, 135 (2000) : 66-72.


Merten, M., T. Chow, J. D. Hellums, and P. Thiagarajan "A New Role of P-Selectin in Shear-induced Platelet Aggregation." Circulation, 102 (2000) : 2045-2050.


Chow, T., J. D. Hellums, and P. Thiagarajan "Synergistic Interaction of Thrombin and Shear Stress on Microvasculation of Platelets." J. Lab. Clinical Med. (1999 (Submitted))


Page, T. C., W. R. Light, and J. D. Hellums "Experimental Determination of Intraluminal Oxygen Transport Characteristics in Hemoglobin Based Oxygen Carriers in 10 ?m Capillaries." Microvascular Research (1999 (Submitted))


Chow, T.W., N.A. Turner, M. Chintagumpala, P.D. McPherson, L.H. Nolasco, L. Rice, J.D. Hellums, and J.L. Moake "Increased von Willebrand Factor Binding to Platelets in Single Episode and Recurrent Types of Chronic Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura." Am. J. Hemat., 52 (1998) : 293-302.


Hellums, J.D., A.D. Taylor, S. Neelamegham, and S.I. Simon "Rheological and Molecular Events in Neutrophil Aggregation." Journal of the Japanese Society of Biorheology, 12 (1998) : 12-35.


Konstatntopoulos, K., S. Neelamegham, A.R. Burns, E. Hentzen, G.S. Kansas, K.R. Snapp, E.L. Berg, J.D. Hellums, C.W. Smith, L.V. McIntire, and S.I. Simon "Venous Levels of Shear Support Neutrophil-Platelet Adhesion and Neutrophil Aggregation in Blood via P-selectin and Beta-2-integrin." Circulation, 98 (1998) : 873-882.


Page, T.C., W.R. Light, C.B. McKay, and J.D. Hellums "Oxygen Transport by Erythrocyte/Hemoglobin Solution Mixtures in an in Vitro Capillary as a Model of Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carrier Performance." Microvascular Research, 55 (1998) : 54-64.


Page, T.C., W.R. Light, and J.D. Hellums "Experimental and Mathematical Simulation of Oxygen Transport by Hemoglobin-based Blood Substitutes." Present and Future Perspectives of Blood Substitutes, Ch. 11 (1998) : 135-145.


Page, T.C., W.R. Light, and J.D. Hellums "Prediction of Microcirculatory Oxygen Transport by Erythrocyte/Hemoglobin Mixtures." Microvascular Research, 56 (1998) : 113-126.


"In Vitro Studies of Oxygen Transport Characteristics of Hemoglobin-based Blood Substitutes." XII World Congress of the International Society for Artificial Organs, Edinburgh, Scotland. (August 6, 1999)


"Biorheology in Thrombosis Research." Japanese Society of Biorheology, Tokyo, Japan. (March 28, 1998)

Positions Held
 E. D. Butcher Professor and Chair, Department of Bioengineering. (2003 - 2003)