BME Seminar Series: Suzanne Maher, Ph.D.
Injury & Repair in the Knee: An Engineering Approach to a Clinical Problem
Assistant Scientist at Hospital for Special Surgery, Adjunct Assistant Professor in BME, Cornell University
Our goal is to develop and assess implants/scaffolds intended to treat young active patients with chondral or meniscal defects early in the course of the problem, thus delaying the need for a total joint replacement. To achieve this goal, we have built models to allow us to: (i) understand how injury affects the mechanics of the knee joint, (ii) assess the ability of scaffolds to restore pre-injury mechanics to the knee joint, while integrating with the host tissue. Using a newly developed suite of pre-clinical tests which include joint-level loading systems, capable of applying physiological loads to mimic every-day activities; tissue-level systems, capable of applying mechanical stimulus to cell-seeded implants and their implant-tissue interfaces; and animal models that can be used to understand the in vivo performance of candidate materials for the repair of soft tissue defects, we are starting to develop and optimize candidate implants. The models that have developed, the application of those models to understand the effect of injury on knee mechanics and a review of our efforts to develop and optimize implants will be presented.