Ongoing Research Projects
Our research program is physically located in the McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania and within the Translational Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Philadelphia VA Medial Center. Our group focuses on the engineering and mechanobiology of musculoskeletal tissues, with a particular interest in restoring articular cartilage, the knee meniscus, and the intervertebral disc. For this, we develop and use rigorous mechanical and molecular analyses to characterize native tissue structure and function, and then employ this information to enhance the functional properties of engineered constructs through focused technology development. This work employs adult mesenchymal stem cells, custom mechanobiologic culture conditions, and the development of novel cell scaffolding technologies. Our work also explores progenitor cell function, differentiation, and efficacy across multiple length scales, from investigations of subcellular biophysical properties, heterogeneity, and mechanobiology through to translation of stem cell-based engineered constructs in large animal models of tissue repair and regeneration. Research team members work both within and across these domains to advance musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. Please click on the links to the left to explore current projects in each of these focus areas.