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Bioengineering Seminar Series: Elise Morgan
Friday, October 24, 2008
11:00 a.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
For More Information:
Professor Adam Hsieh
(301) 405-7397

Regulating Skeletal Repair by Mechanical Stimulation

Presented by Elise Morgan
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Boston University

An intimate relationship exists among the structure, mechanical function, and mechanical environment of skeletal tissues. The ability of these tissues—which include bone, cartilage, tendon, and ligament—to withstand the forces placed upon them during activities of daily living is derived largely from their hierarchical, composite microstructure. Moreover, compelling evidence has continued to emerge that these tissues can respond to their mechanical environment through adaptive changes in structure and mechanical behavior. A powerful example of the close correspondence among structure, function, and mechanical cues in skeletal tissues is that of bone repair. Bone fracture healing involves a dynamic interplay of biological processes that ultimately restore form and function to injured bone. Our laboratory and others have demonstrated that altering the mechanical environment of a healing bone fracture can dramatically change the course of healing. These findings indicate that it may be possible to use mechanical stimulation not only to accelerate bone repair but also to promote repair and regeneration of other types of skeletal tissues. This talk will present our recent work on manipulating the mechanical environment of a healing bone defect in order to promote the formation of cartilaginous tissues that have many microstructural and molecular similarities to hyaline cartilage. Methods from mechanical engineering and molecular biology are used to characterize the properties of the newly formed cartilage and the processes by which this tissue forms. Through this work we hope to elucidate the precise role of mechanical forces in modulating skeletal tissue differentiation and to identify potential strategies for cartilage regeneration.

This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs

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