Professor Baesu’s research is in the general area of solid mechanics. There are three main areas of interest: (i) electromechanical effects, (ii) fiber networks, and (iii) biomechanics.
Electromechanical effects: Her research in the electrodynamics of continuous media has been in modeling coupled nonlinear electromechanical effects in solids, especially piezoelectric materials, with an emphasis on studying the effect of initial electric and mechanical fields on the subsequent behavior of these materials. Her work in this area has led to substantial contributions to the understanding of failure and material stability in electroactive materials in general and piezoelectrics in particular. Current research interests in this area include multiscale modeling of piezoelectricity.
Fiber networks: Another area of research that Professor Baesu is actively pursuing is the modeling of continua of filamentary networks. She developed a model for continua composed of a network of elastic-plastic fibers, which allows the overall response of the continuum to be inferred the properties of each fiber family and, vice-versa, under certain restrictions on the number of fiber families. This last feature may be particularly useful in experimental characterization of certain composites consisting of nano-fibers for which the properties of the nano-fibers cannot be directly measured. Currently this paradigm is extended to a network of piezoelectric fibers, which are again important for smart structure applications. Further, she is exploring applications of this theory to the design of tissue scaffolds for biomedical applications.
Biomechanics (cellular mechanics): Another area of Professor Baesu’s research is the mechanics of the mechanics of living cells. In a unique collaborative effort with biologists and material scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, she has helped develop a multi-pronged program of research involving experimental, theoretical, and computational aspects, which is centered by using the unique capabilities of the atomic force microscope (AFM). The focus of her work has been the development of a non-linear model of cell membrane, as well as modeling the contact between the AFM tip and the cell membrane. The aim is to exploit these capabilities and develop a tool for non-destructive monitoring of changes in living cells with applications to, e.g. early diagnosis of cancer, multiple sclerosis etc., pathogen invasion.
E. Baesu, R. E. Rudd, M. McElfresh and J. Belak, “Continuum Modeling of Cell Membranes”, Intern. J. Nonlinear Mech. 39, 369-377 (2004).
E. Baesu, “On Electroacoustic Energy Flux”, J. Appl. Math. and Phys. (ZAMP) 54, 1001-1009 (2003).
E. Baesu, “Finite Deformations of Elastic-Plastic Filamentary Networks”, Intern. J. Nonlinear Mech. 38, 1473-1479 (2003).
M. McElfresh, E. Baesu, R. Ballhorn, J. Belak, M. Allen, and R. E. Rudd, “Combining Constitutive Materials Modeling with Atomic Force Microscopy to Understand the Mechanical Properties of Living Cells”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99 6493-7 (2002).
E. Baesu and E. Soos, “Antiplane Fracture in a Prestressed and Prepolarized Crystal”, IMA J. Appl. Math. 66, 499-508 (2001).