George R Dodge

faculty photo
Adjunct Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Director, Philadelphia VA Shared Instrument Core, Philadelphia Crescenz Veterans Administration Medical Center Department of Veteran Affairs 3900 Woodland Ave. Philadelphia PA. 19104
Director, Translational Musculoskeletal Research Center, Philadelphia Crescenz Veterans Administration Medical Center Department of Veteran Affairs 3900 Woodland Ave. Philadelphia PA. 19104
Department: Orthopaedic Surgery

Contact information
McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory
379A Stemmler Hall
3450 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.
Post-Graduate Training
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular and Cell Biology, Thomas Jefferson University Department of Pathology and Cell Biology Dr. Renato Iozzo, Mentor, 1989-1990.
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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 and effect ofmecahnical loaeding on cells. 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

I am an established investigator with a career long commitment to translational musculoskeletal research and in particular research focused on cartilage and chondrocyte biology, extracellular matrix and research related to osteoarthritis. 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. A graduate of McGill University under the mentorship of Professor A. Robin Poole formed a solid basis for a career in studying cartilage and joint-related diseases. I also 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. Significant accomplishments include Dodge and Poole being among the first to describe a new approach to use antibodies to degrade fragments of extracellular matrix as biomarkers and to identify arthritic diseases and tissue turnover; an area of study and much interest still today. Additionally, Dodge and Iozzo were the first to characterize a novel and important heparan sulfate proteoglycan, perlecan and were the team that originally identified and characterized the human perlecan gene. This molecule has gone on to be identified as critical to many fundamental processes such as skeletal development, angiogenesis, growth factor deliver, and cartilage homeostasis.

More recently, with a focus on cartilage tissue structure and function paradigms, my work has concentrated on developing innovative technologies of tissue engineering and phenotypically correct models of cartilage-like functional units. My laboratory has been a forerunner in the area of scaffold-free tissue engineering cartilage and recently published a study that clearly demonstrated our novel scaffold-less model can generate functionally relevant cartilage tissue analogs (Mohanraj B et al., J Biomechanics 2014). We have focused over the past several years on developing this platform as a generator of cartilage surrogates which also included novel approaches to grow these tissue surrogates in a pressurized bioreactor delivering a physiologically relevant load. I have combined the experiences of cartilage cell biology and tissue engineering and designed a bioreactor that can deliver physiologically relevant loads and mimic pathological stress or injury on growing cartilage analogs generated from both chondrocytes and stem cells. This provides a physiological-relevant platform to explore the mechanisms of various cell functions and how to control them.

My current goals important to traumatic injuries to cartilage, (i.e., PTOA) which is to identify molecules involved in chondroctye's early response to compressive injury and identify in a high throughput manner, therapeutics targets. A significant advance in the potential to discover therapeutics in this clinical area has been achieved by our success in creating a PTOA injury model platform that was designed to rapidly assess small molecules and drug’s effects on cell after a compressive injury (B Mohanraj et al., OA & Cart 2014).

Complementing molecular and cell biology expertise, my lab has extensive experience incorporating novel imaging approaches into our research including FT-IRIS, MRI, and CT which has direct implications when considering assessing later engineered materials in vivo. We also made a significant advance in the area of imaging as a biomarker, with a study demonstrating in an animal model the use of MRI as a biomarker for early detection of cartilage changes and its ability to detect the progressive damage that occurs over time (Fenty M et al., J Mag Res Imaging 2012). As demonstrated here, I have a broad range of translational orthopaedic based research interests and nurtured innovative collaborations with biologists, engineers and clinicians which have implications in a variety of clinical areas. A cross-disciplinary approach continues to be the cornerstone of my research agenda.

Selected Publications

Zlotnick HM, Locke RC, Hemdev S, Stoeckl BD, Gupta S, Peredo AP, Steinberg DR, Carey JL, Lee D, Dodge GR, Mauck RL.: Gravity-based patterning of osteogenic factors to preserve bone structure after osteochondral injury in a large animal model. Biofabrication 14: 10, Jul 2022.

Hendesi H, Stewart S, Gibison ML, Guehring H, Richardson DW, Dodge GR.: Recombinant fibroblast growth factor-18 (sprifermin) enhances microfracture-induced cartilage healing. J Orthop Res 2022.

Gordon JA, Farooqi AS, Rabut E, Huffman GR, Schug J, Kelly JD, Dodge GR.: Evaluating whole-genome expression differences in idiopathic and diabetic adhesive capsulitis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2022.

Jo YK , Heo SJ , Peredo AP , Mauck RL , Dodge GR , Lee D .: Stretch-responsive adhesive microcapsules for strain-regulated antibiotic release from fabric wound dressings. Biomater Sci 9: 5136-5143, Aug 2021.

Sennett ML, Friedman JM, Ashley BS, Stoeckl BD, Patel JM, Alini M, Cucchiarini M, Eglin D, Madry H, Mata A, Semino C, Stoddart MJ, Johnstone B, Moutos FT, Estes BT, Guilak F, Mauck RL, Dodge GR.: Long term outcomes of biomaterial-mediated repair of focal cartilage defects in a large animal model. Eur Cell Mater 41: 40-51, Jan 2021.

Zhang C, Gullbrand SE, Schaer TP, Boorman S, Elliott DM, Chen W, Dodge GR, Mauck RL, Malhotra NR, Smith LJ.: Combined Hydrogel and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Moderate-Severity Disc Degeneration in Goats. Tissue Eng Part A 27: 117-128, Jan 2021.

Peredo AP, Jo YK, Duan G, Dodge GR, Lee D, Mauck RL.: Mechano-activated biomolecule release in regenerating load-bearing tissue microenvironments. Biomaterials 265: 120255, Jan 2021.

Zhang C, Gullbrand SE, Schaer TP, Lau YK, Jiang Z, Dodge GR, Elliott DM, Mauck RL, Malhotra NR, Smith LJ.: Inflammatory cytokine and catabolic enzyme expression in a goat model of intervertebral disc degeneration. J Orthop Res 38: 2521-2531, Nov 2020.

Patel JM, Sennett ML, Martin AR, Saleh KS, Eby MR, Ashley BS, Miller LM, Dodge GR, Burdick JA, Carey JL, Mauck RL.: Resorbable Pins to Enhance Scaffold Retention in a Porcine Chondral Defect Model. Cartilage artilage, 2020.

Thomas WW, Brody RM, Alotaibi AD, Rabut EC, Cohen NA, Lyman R, Kovacevic M, Friedman O, Dodge GR.: Characterization of Injury Induced by Routine Surgical Manipulations of Nasal Septal Cartilage. JAMA Facial Plast Surg 21: 393-401, Sep 2019.

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Last updated: 10/10/2022
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