Musculoskeletal Biology / Biomaterials / Tissue Engineering
Research in several laboratories is focused on musculoskeletal biology, biomaterials and tissue engineering. The projects include understanding fundamental biochemical and physiological properties of craniofacial muscles (jaw-closing, extraocular, and laryngeal) that distinguish them from skeletal muscles in the limbs in an attempt to better understand the unique functions of muscles in the head and neck regions, such as driving precise mandibular movements, executing eye movements with extremely high fidelity, and vocalizing over a broad range of audible frequencies.
Biomechanical signals although fundamental, are little studied aspects of musculoskeletal tissue function, repair, and regeneration. These projects are focused to understand the mechanisms of mechanotransduction in bone, cartilage and muscle, and how biomechanical signals regulate functions of the cells of musculoskeletal system in health and in disease. These studies are being conducted with the goal of getting a better understanding of joint disorders and dysfunction. This research may lead to improved therapeutic strategies to combat and prevent musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis.
Interactions of materials with biological tissues are being examined by a number of investigators. The compatibility of materials, intended as replacement (prosthetic) components, is an important area of investigation, especially for the aging population.