George R Dodge

faculty photo
Adjunct Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery

Contact information
McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Pennsylvania
424 Stemmler Hall
36th Street and Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6081
Office: 215-573-1514
Fax: 215-574-2133
B.S. (Biology)
Asbury College, Wilmore KY, 1974.
B.S. (Biology and Health Science (Public Health))
State University of New York, College at Brockport, 1976.
Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Immunology)
McGill University , 1989.
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Description of Itmat Expertise

My research addresses the translational area degenerative joint diseases and focuses on cartilage cell biology, cartilage tissue engineering, and cartilage response to injury. We have developed model systems to both generate cartilage analogs and study the control of cell phenotype. We also have designed testing platforms to deliver clincally relevant impact injuries as well as test mechanical properties in a high throughput manner.

Description of Research Expertise

Fundamentally my research addresses the translational area of degenerative joint diseases and focuses on extracellular matrix, cartilage cell biology, cartilage tissue engineering, and cartilage response to injury. I am an established investigator with a career long commitment to the field of cartilage biology and research related to osteoarthritis. A graduate of McGill University under the mentorship of A. Robin Poole formed a solid basis for a career in studying cartilage and joint-related diseases. With Professor Poole, we developed some of the first approaches to detecting collagen breakdown using epitope specific antibodies. I trained in the labs of recognized leaders in matrix biology (Professors R Iozzo and S Jimenez at Jefferson Medical College) and have continued to work in the area of cartilage biology for more than 25 years. With a focus on cartilage tissue structure and function paradigms my work has focused on developing innovative technologies of tissue engineering and phenotypically correct models of cartilage-related functional units. We have focussed over the past several years on developing a novel method to maintain chondrocyte’s phenotype and to engineer a cartilage analog and to utilize this functional, tissue-mimicry model to assess cartilage response to injury and therapeutics. A cornerstone of the work includes this model system which can evaluate chondrocyte function in a mechanically loaded environment. We have also worked extensively in the area of the important heparan sulfate proteoglycan, perlecan and were part of the team that originally cloned and characterized the first human perlecan gene.

In addition, Over the years I have directed diverse projects that have distinct translational relevance to translational orthopaedic research, for example a study using a large animal model and direct current techniques to alter bone growth and impact the progression of idiopathic scoliosis. I have combined the experiences of cartilage cell biology and tissue engineering and designed a bioreactor that can deliver physiologically relevant loads, mimic pathological stress or injury, on growing cartilage analogs generated from both chondrocytes and stem cells. The research in the Dodge laboratory incorporates and builds on the past research achievements and uses this experimental approach to focus on one of our current goals important to traumatic injuries to cartilage which is to identify molecules involved in chondroctye's early response to compressive injury and identify therapeutics targets.

Complementing molecular and cell biology expertise my lab has extensive experience incorporating novel imaging approaches into our research including MRI, CT, and FT-IRIS which has direct implications when considering assessing later engineered materials in vivo. I have a broad range of translational orthopaedic based research interests and collaborations which have implications in a variety of clinical areas. A cross-disciplinary approach continues to be the cornerstone of my research agenda.

Dodge Laboratory's research interests are:
•Extracellular matrix (cartilage, tendon, disc)
•Chondrocyte cell biology
•Regulation of chondrocyte function in degenerative joint diseases and post-traumatic osteoarthritis
•Tissue engineering biological cartilage replacement materials
•Novel cartilage imaging and soluble cartilage biomarkers

Current and Past Projects
•Tissue engineering cartilage analogs of translational relevance in cartilage defect repair
•Utilization of a novel high throughput mechanical testing device for evaluating cartilage related therapeutics in post-traumatic osteoarthritis
•Identification the role of therapeutics, including biologics in cartilage repair using a unique cartilage analog model developed in our laboratory
•Mimicking the loaded environment of chondrocytes using pressurized bioreactor and maintaining cartilage phenotype
•Characterization of alternative-spliced forms of perlecan (a large heparan sulfate proteoglycan)and its role in aging and stem cell function
•Mechanism of action of nutraceuticals such as glucosamine on chondrocyte function and potential as chondroprotective agents
•Novel approaches of imaging and detection of cartilage proteoglycans by MRI
•Electrical stimulation of epiphyseal growth plate cartilage: A model of to achieve an epiphysiodesis in both limb lengthening and scoliosis issues

Selected Publications

Johnstone Brian, Alini Mauro, Cucchiarini Magali, Dodge George R, Eglin David, Guilak Farshid, Madry Henning, Mata Alvaro, Mauck Robert L, Semino Carlos E, Stoddart Martin J: Tissue engineering for articular cartilage repair--the state of the art. European Cells & Materials 25: 248-67, 2013.

Gorth Deborah J, Mauck Robert L, Chiaro Joseph A, Mohanraj Bhavana, Hebela Nader M, Dodge George R, Elliott Dawn M, Smith Lachlan J: IL-1ra delivered from poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres attenuates IL-1β-mediated degradation of nucleus pulposus in vitro. Arthritis Research & Therapy 14(4): R179, Aug 2012.

Erickson Isaac E, Kestle Sydney R, Zellars Kilief H, Dodge George R, Burdick Jason A, Mauck Robert L: Improved cartilage repair via in vitro pre-maturation of MSC-seeded hyaluronic acid hydrogels. Biomedical Materials (Bristol, England) 7(2): 024110, Apr 2012.

Fenty Matthew C, Dodge George R, Kassey Victor Babu, Witschey Walter R T, Borthakur Arijitt, Reddy Ravinder: Quantitative cartilage degeneration associated with spontaneous osteoarthritis in a guinea pig model. Journal of magnetic resonance imaging 35(4): 891-8, Apr 2012.

Matuszewski Paul E, Chen Yi-Ling, Szczesny Spencer E, Lake Spencer P, Elliott Dawn M, Soslowsky Louis J, Dodge George R: Regional variation in human supraspinatus tendon proteoglycans: decorin, biglycan, and aggrecan. Connective tissue research 53(5): 343-8, 2012.

Kim Minwook, Kraft Jeffrey J, Volk Andrew C, Pugarelli Joan, Pleshko Nancy, Dodge George R: Characterization of a cartilage-like engineered biomass using a self-aggregating suspension culture model: molecular composition using FT-IRIS. Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society 29(12): 1881-7, Dec 2011.

Minwook Kim, Jeffrey J. Kraft, Andrew C. Volk, Joan Pugarelli, Nancy Pleshko, Ph.D., and George R. Dodge : Characterization of a Cartilage-like Engineered Biomass Using a Self Aggregating Suspension Culture Model: Molecular Composition using FT-IRIS Journal of Orthopaedic Research 29(12): 1881-7, Dec 2011.

Smith, LJ; Chiaro,JA; Nerurkar,NL; Cortes, DH; Horava,SD; Hebela, NM; Mauck, RL; Dodge, GR; Elliott, DM.: Nucleus Pulposus Cells Synthesize a Functional Extracellular MAtrix and Respond to Inflammatory Cytokine Challenge Following Long-term Agarose Culture. European Cells and Materials 20(22): 291-301, Nov 2011.

Jinyong Wee, Tariq Rahman, Robert E. Akins, Rahamim Seliktar, David G. Levine, Dean W. Richardson, George R. Dodge, Ahmed M. Thabet, Laurens Holmes and William G. Mackenzie: Using distraction forces to drive an autodistractor during limb lengthening Medical Engineering & Physics 33(8): 1001-7, Oct 2011 Notes: doi:10.1016/j.medengphy.2011.04.002.

George R. Dodge, Ravinder R Regatte, Elizabeth A. Noyszewski, Jeffery O. Hall, Akella V.Sarma, D. Allen Callaway, and Ravinder Reddy.: The Fate of Oral Glucosamine Traced by 13C-labeling in the Dog. Cartilage 2: 279-285, July 2011 Notes:

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Last updated: 09/25/2014
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