Our lab researches musculoskeletal tissue engineering, mechanobiology, and cell signaling pathways that are upregulated in models of inflammatory injury in vitro and in vivo. We have developed experimental methods and theoretical models to characterize the mechanobiological behavior of cartilage, tendon, and other connective tissues subjected to compressive, shear and impact overload in vitro and in vivo.
Our group has performed extensive studies on the effects of cytokine-induced inflammation and mechanical loading forces and on tissue and joint behavior, with a focus on both the catabolic and anabolic processes initiated by overload injury. In addition, novel biomechanical characterization techniques have been developed for measurements of the biochemical composition, mechanical properties, and gene and protein expression of the extracellular macromolecules in systems using cartilage, bone, and synovium.
We have recently developed novel atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based imaging, AFM-based indentation, AFM-based wide bandwidth dynamic nanorheology to study the molecular-level contributions to biomechanical behavior and energy dissipation in mechanically loaded soft tissues.