During her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Laudadio worked with cultured tracheal smooth muscle cells, performing contractile experiments using to measure changes in cell stiffness. The goal of this project was to understand changes in the mechanics of rat airway smooth muscle cells, especially the role of actin. She also studied the effects of actin manipulation with membrane permeable actin binding proteins. She further examined the role of actin in the law of structural damping, as the source of cellular noise temperature, and the theory that cells can be classified as soft glassy materials.
Prior to this, Dr. Laudadio worked with freshly isolated airway smooth muscle cells at Temple University. She performed single cell experiments to measure the shortening velocity of unloaded cells. Her work used contractile agonists and blockers as well as tools to investigate calcium stores. She developed a method for single cell isolation that can be applied universally to all smooth muscle tissues for her master’s thesis. In her dissertation research, she applied this method to ovine tracheae in different stages of development and demonstrated age-related changes in contractile ability of these cells.
"Developmental differences in the contractile response of isolated ovine tracheal smooth muscle cells"
Rachel E. Laudadio, Marla R. Wolfson, Thomas H. Shaffer and Steven P. Driska
Pediatr. Pulmonol. 44(6): 602-612, 2009.
"Rat airway smooth muscle cell during actin modulation: rheology and glassy dynamics"
Rachel E. Laudadio, Emil J. Millet, Ben Fabry, Steven S. An, James P. Butler, and Jeffrey J. Fredberg
Am. J. Physiol. Cell. Physiol. 289: C1388-C1395, 2005.
"Stiffness changes in cultured airway smooth muscle cells"
Steven S. An, Rachel E. Laudadio, Jean Lai, Rick A. Rogers, and Jeffrey J. Fredberg
Am. J. Physiol. Cell. Physiol. 283:C792-C801, 2002
"A method for isolating adult and neonatal airway smooth muscle cells and measuring shortening velocity"
SP Driska, RE Laudadio, MR Wolfson, and TH Shaffer
J. Appl. Physiol. 86:427-435, 1999.