Biomechanics includes the topics of musculoskeletal mechanics, cardiac mechanics, mechano-electrochemical responses of soft and hard tissues, cell-matrix interactions, cellular biomechanics, functional tissue engineering, image-based functional anatomy, and computer-assisted surgery and surgical planning.

The Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory (MBL)

The Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory (MBL), directed by Prof. Gerard Ateshian, focuses on the biomechanics and biotribology of articular cartilage in human joints.  In particular, this laboratory investigates the remarkable mechanical and frictional properties of articular cartilage through a combination of theoretical and experimental analyses. The MBL has resolved long-standing questions into how cartilage can maintain very low friction as the bones of our joints articulate, leading to the development of engineered cartilage using live cartilage cells and newly developed bioreactors.

The Bone Bioengineering Laboratory (BBL)

The Bone Bioengineering Laboratory (BBL), directed by Prof. Ed Guo, focuses on major areas in bone biomechanics and bioengineering, including cellular/molecular mechanisms of trabecular bone response to mechanical and hormonal stimulation, micromechanics of cortical bone, and intervetebral disc response to mechanical loads.  Additionally BBL is developing 3D image analysis and recognition of trabecular bone microstructure and 3D bone cell culture systems.

The Liu Ping Laboratory for Functional Tissue Engineering Research

The Liu Ping Laboratory for Functional Tissue Engineering Research, directed by Prof. Van Mow, continues the pioneering rigorous studies on the mechano-electrochemical properties of the soft tissues in diarthrodial joints.  These in-depth studies have made paradigm shifts in the studies of soft-hydrated-charged hydrated tissues, and have received numerous awards in the discipline of biomechanics over the past several decades.They constitute some of the most highly cited literature in the entire biomechanics discipline. With its emphasis on functional tissue engineering, Dr. Mow’s laboratory currently studies the performance of engineered constructs under physiological conditions for long periods of time, allowing them to serve as viable replacements for damaged orthopaedic, load bearing tissues.

Nanobiotechnology - Synthetic Biology Laboratory

The Nanobiotechnology - Synthetic Biology Laboratory, directed by Prof. Henry Hess, focuses on the rational design of molecular and supramolecular systems using experimental and theoretical methods of science and engineering. In particular, the study of biological nanomachines, such as biomolecular motors, and their integration into hybrid devices and active nanosystems is a major activity of the laboratory.

Neurotrauma and Repair Laboratory

The Neurotrauma and Repair Laboratory, directed by Prof. Barclay Morrison, has a single overarching goal: to reduce the societal costs of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which affects 1.5 million new patients annually at a cost of $69 billion. This laboratory established the first macro-array description of in vitro post-traumatic genomic alterations and correlation of those changes with mechanical injury parameters and developed an organotypic brain slice system for investigating injury biomechanics. Activities include development of stretchable microelectrode arrays for more stable neural prosthesis interfaces, vertically aligned carbon nanofiber electrophysiology arrays, and novel delivery technologies for crossing the blood brain barrier.

Morphogenesis and Developmental Biomechanics Lab

The Morphogenesis and Developmental Biomechanics Lab (MDBL), led by Prof. Nandan Nerurkar, studies how tissues and organs form in the developing embryo through an integration of genetic, molecular, and biophysical cues. Using live in vivo imaging, gene misexpression, and biomechanical approaches in the developing chick embryo, we focus on understanding how forces that shape the embryo are specified by developmental signals, how these forces in turn feedback on tissue growth and stem cell differentiation, and how birth defects arise when these processes go awry. Ultimately, our goal is to establish the design principles of embryonic tissue formation, and to repurpose them for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications.