The Darling Lab conducts basic science and translational investigations involving mesenchymal stem cells. Areas of emphasis include single-cell elastic and viscoelastic properties (mechanical biomarkers) and live-cell gene expression analysis (molecular beacons). Ongoing studies are looking at the issue of cellular heterogeneity and its effect on stem cell differentiation. Additional work related to these topics and others are pursued through collaborators at Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, and other research institutions.

Major research tracks in the Darling Lab include:

Single-cell mechanical biomarkers

Live-cell, gene expression analysis



Tissue/lineage-specific cell enrichment via mRNA biomarkers


Mechanical and biological heterogeneity in differentiating stem cells


Age-related disparities in the regenerative capacity of MSCs