Faculty Profile

Carrie E. Perlman

Phone: 201.216.8779
Fax: 201.216.8196
Email: [email protected]
School:  Schaefer School of Engineering & Science
Department:  Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Biological Sciences
Program:  Biomedical Engineering

BSME, Mechanical Engineering, MIT

MS/PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University

Postdoctoral training, Physiology & Cellular Biophysics and Pulmonary Division, Dept of Medicine, Columbia University


Our laboratory studies lung mechanics in the context of the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).  A hallmark of ARDS is pulmonary edema, in which liquid leaks out of the blood vessels into the alveoli, or smallest airspaces, of the lungs.  Such liquid-filling of the alveoli causes breathing difficulty in patients.  For breathing assistance, ARDS patients are placed on mechanical ventilation.  In attempting to provide sufficient assistance, however, mechanical ventilation can cause an additional over-distension injury, ventilator induced lung injury (VILI), and prevent recovery.  The mortality rate for ARDS/VILI exceeds 35%.

To address this problem, we study surface tension in and inflation mechanics of the edematous lungs.  We have developed the first means of determining surface tension in flooded alveoli of the lungs.  With this method, we have shed doubt on the common belief that plasma proteins present in edema liquid raise surface tension in the lungs.  We have further identified novel methods of lowering surface tension in the lungs.  These methods, which should lessen VILI, could be used as new treatments for ARDS.  

In our investigations of lung mechanics, we have used combined experimental and computational methods to determine the Young's modulus of the alveolar septum in situ in the lungs.  Further, we are designing novel mechanical ventilation waveforms targeted at reducing VILI.

Our overall goal is to use our understanding of mechanics to inform development of novel treatment methods for ARDS.


Selected Publications
  1. Kharge AB, Wu Y, Perlman CE. "Sulforhodamine B interacts with albumin to lower surface tension and protect against ventilation injury of flooded alveoli", Journal of Applied Physiology 118: 355-364, 2015.
  2. Perlman CE. "Letter to the Editor: On modeling edematous alveolar mechanics", Journal of Applied Physiology 117: 937, 2014.
  3. Wu Y, Kharge AB, Perlman CE. "Lung ventilation injures areas with discrete alveolar flooding, in a surface-tension dependent fashion", Journal of Applied Physiology 117: 788-796, 2014.
  4. Kharge AB, Wu Y, Perlman CE. "Surface tension in situ in flooded alveolus unaltered by albumin", Journal of Applied Physiology 117: 440-451, 2014.
  5. Perlman CE, Wu Y. "In situ determination of alveolar septal strain, stress and effective Young's modulus: an experimental/computational approach", American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular & Molecular Physiology 307: L302-L310, 2014.
  6. Perlman CE, Mockros LF. "Predicted oxygenation efficacy of a thoracic artificial lung", ASAIO Jounral 58: 247-254, 2012.
  7. Wu Y, Perlman CE. "In situ methods for assessing alveolar mechanics", Journal of Applied Physiology 112: 519-526, 2012.
  8. Perlman CE, Lederer DJ, Bhattacharya J. "The micromechanics of alveolar edema", American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 44: 34-39, 2011.
  9. Bhattacharya J, Perlman CE. "Letter to the Editor: Commentaries on Viewpoint--Standards for quantitative assessment of lung structure. Air space connectivity", Journal of Applied Physiology 109: 935-936, 2010.
  10. Kuo AS, Perlman CE, Mockros LF, Cook KE. "Pulmonic valve function during thoracic artificial lung attachment", ASAIO Journal 54: 197-202, 2008.
  11. Perlman CE and Bhattacharya J. "Alveolar expansion imaged by optical sectioning microscopy", Journal of Applied Physiology 103: 1037-1044, 2007.
  12. Lindert J, Perlman CE, Parthasarathi K, Bhattacharya J. "Chloride-dependent secretion of alveolar wall liquid determined by optical sectioning microscopy", American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 36: 688-696, 2007.
  13. Perlman CE, Mockros LF. "Hemodynamic consequences of thoracic artificial lung attachment configuration: a computational model", ASAIO Journal 53: 50-64, 2007.
  14. Perlman CE, Cook KE, Seipelt R, Mavroudis C, Backer CL, Mockros LF. "In vivo hemodynamic responses to thoracic artificial lung attachment", ASAIO Journal 51: 412-25, 2005.
  15. Cook KE, Perlman CE, Seipelt R, Backer CL, Mavroudis C, Mockros LF. "Hemodynamic and gas transfer properties of a compliant thoracic artificial lung", ASAIO Journal 51: 404-11, 2005.
  16. Boschetti F, Cook KE, Perlman CE, Mavroudis LF, Backer CL, Mockros LF. "Blood flow pulsatility effects upon oxygen transfer in artificial lungs", ASAIO Journal 49: 678-686, 2003.
  17. Boschetti F, Perlman CE, Cook KE, Mockros LF. "Hemodynamic effects of attachment modes and device design of a thoracic artificial lung", American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) Journal 46: 42-48, 2000.