Mark Raymond Buckley
- Biomedical Engineering
Tendon, ligament, cartilage and many other soft biological tissues serve predominantly mechanical functions. However, unlike steel, concrete and other elastic solids, these structurally complex materials exhibit a history- and time-dependent response to loading (i.e., viscoelasticity) that must be characterized in order to predict in vivo deformations and understand loss of mechanical function in the pathological state. Our lab is interested in evaluating changes in soft tissue viscoelastic properties across multiple length scales during processes including exercise, aging, injury and disease and identifying the specific biological and structural factors responsible for these alterations. To characterize viscoelasticity at the tissue, matrix and cellular levels, we combine simultaneous high-speed microscopy, force measurement and control of deformation on live tissue explants. Using our findings, we seek to devise strategies for assessing the efficacy of treatments or diagnosing damage based on viscoelastic measurements.