Robert M. Hochmuth

Image of Robert M. Hochmuth

Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Dr. Hochmuth applied the principles of thermodynamics, and solid and fluid mechanics, to biological problems. In particular, he and his colleagues characterized and measured the elastic, viscous and adhesive properties of human red cells and white cells, especially neutrophils. In this work, individual cells were mechanically manipulated with a micropipette. Small suction pressures on the order of 0.1 pN/µm2 and detachment forces on the order of 10 pN were imposed on a cell and displacements at the cellular boundaries as small as 50 nm were measured. His final work before he retired focused on stretching the individual microvilli that exist on the surface of neutrophils, on extracting receptors from the cell's membrane and on measuring the forces of attachment between individual receptors and their antibodies.

Professor Hochmuth became an emeritus professor in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Biomedical Engineering, on September 1, 2004.

Appointments and Affiliations
  • Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Contact Information:
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5310
  • Email Address:

  • Ph.D. Brown University, 1967
  • M.S. Ohio State University, 1962
  • B.S. University Colorado Denver, 1961


Biological Materials

Courses Taught:

    Representative Publications: (More Publications)
      • Marcus, W.D. and Hochmuth, R.M., Experimental studies of membrane tethers formed from human neutrophils, Ann. Biomed. Eng. (USA), vol 30 no. 10 (2002), pp. 1273 - 80 [1.1528614] [abs].
      • Hochmuth, R.M. and Marcus, W.D., Membrane tethers formed from blood cells with available area and determination of their adhesion energy, Biophys. J. (USA), vol 82 no. 6 (2002), pp. 2964 - 9 [abs].
      • Albarran, Brian and Ting-Beall, H. Ping and Zhelev, Doncho V. and Hochmuth, Robert M., Effect of membrane area expansion on the cortical tension of human neutrophils, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, vol 28 no. SUPPL 1 (2000), pp. -75 - [abs].
      • Rinker, Kristina D. and Ting-Beall, H. Ping and Hochmuth, Robert M. and Truskey, George A., Mechanism of shear force-dependent monocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, vol 28 no. SUPPL 1 (2000), pp. -70 - [abs].
      • Hochmuth, R.M., Micropipette aspiration of living cells, J. Biomech. (UK), vol 33 no. 1 (2000), pp. 15 - 22 [S0021-9290(99)00175-X] [abs].