Research

Biomechanics

finite modelBiomechanics research at the University of Rochester is conducted on multiple levels – from nano-scale molecular interactions between proteins, micro-scale cellular interactions with their extracellular environment, macro-scale mechanics of tissue and systems including joints, circulatory systems among others, all the way up to whole body (organism) dynamics. 

Our research integrates concepts and techniques from a wide range of related fields. For example, our researchers collaborate with molecular biologists or experts in biomedical optics to better understand the responses of cells to their surroundings or mechanical environments. Such research is critical in tissue engineering or the design of cellular interfaces with artificial blood vessels.

Similarly, our orthopaedic biomechanics research often involves the use of advanced medical imaging techniques such as MR or microCT to characterize the mechanical properties of bone and cartilage in healthy or diseased joints.

At both the cellular and macroscopic levels, our research also often involves an integration of experimental and computational methods. For example, students may have an opportunity to create an analytical model of cell migration coupled with the ability to validate their predictions using sophisticated optical imaging techniques.

Similar computational models study the flow of cells within the microvasculature, the function of the meniscus in the knee or the integrity of a healing fracture callus, providing an efficient method to expand the findings of related experimental studies.

At the University of Rochester, our biomechanics research does not stop in the laboratory. Instead, many efforts are underway to translate our findings directly into the clinical setting. 

Example Research Projects:

mechanical testing device hydrogel culture environments biomechanics2 biomechanics3 biomechanics4 bone repair and regeneration mechanical force and leukocyte adhesion

mechanics of cell cytoplasm cyclic and static loading fracture healing knee joint knee meniscus knee flexion targeted drug delivery
local delivery of therapeutics micro-fluidics in the inner ear models of skeletal disease and trauma MR imaging organ of corti polymer-drug complexes single molecule force spectroscopy
tissue engineering analysis of children's gait femoral condyle achilles tendon


Current Researchers:

Hani A. Awad, PhD Musculoskeletal tissue engineering
Danielle Benoit, PhD Therapeutic biomaterials
Mark Raymond Buckley, PhD Viscoelasticity in soft biological tissues; soft tissue aging, disease and repair
Robert L. Clark, PhD Dynamic systems, measurement and control, and the exploration of single-molecule mechanics
Sheryl M. Gracewski, PhD General area of solid mechanics
Catherine K. Kuo, PhD Tissue engineering; Orthopaedics; Stem cells; Developmental biology; Mechanobiology; Biomaterials
Amy L. Lerner, PhD Orthopaedic biomechanics, bone growth and development, knee biomechanics
Elena Lomakina, PhD Cell adhesion, mechanical and thermodynamic properties of biological membranes
James L. McGrath, PhD Cell motility, and quantitative light microscopy
Jong-Hoon Nam, PhD Biophysics of inner ear sensory cells, cell mechanics
Renato Perucchio, PhD Computational solid and structural mechanics
J. Edward Puzas, PhD Molecular and cellular biology of the skeletal system
Edward M. Schwarz, PhD Pro-inflammatory cytokine signal transduction and novel drug and gene therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Richard E. Waugh, PhD Cell adhesion, mechanical and thermodynamic properties of biological membranes; cellular mechanics and function of cytoskeletal proteins
Michael Zuscik, PhD Cartilage biology and osteoarthritis