SEMINAR: A “Monologue” on the Mechanics of the Vagina
April 5 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
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 is currently being conducted in my lab to characterize the nonlinear mechanical properties of the vaginal tissue and the supportive structures. Our findings can potentially transform current surgical reconstruction methods and post-operative rehabilitation protocols for pelvic floor disorders.
Dr. Raffaella De Vita is an associate 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, NSF CAREER award, 2012 PECASE Award, and several awards from Virginia Tech for research, teaching, and outreach excellence. Her research focuses on determining the relationship between the mechanical behavior and the complex structure of biological systems using theoretical, computational, and experimental methods.
“I bet you’re worried. I was worried. I was worried about vaginas. I was worried about what we think about vaginas, and even more worried that we don’t think about them.” Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues