Mechanics of Biological Tissues
The structure-function relationships of biological materials are critical to understating tissue development, function, disease, and therapy. We use custom-built devices to simultaneously study structure and mechanics of biological tissues.
Spatial periodicity in growth plate shear mechanical properties is disrupted by vitamin D deficiency
Effects of Enzymatic Treatments on the Depth-Dependent Viscoelastic Shear Properties of Articular Cartilage
Fluorescence movie of human knee cartilage under shear. The cartilage is stained green, then photobleached, to allow for calculation of strains and displacements, and in turn for calculations of local moduli. Notice that the upper region, close to the articular surface, is much more compliant than the bulk.
Time lapse video of the front view of a Medicago root growing on an inclined plane within a gel. One photo is taken an hour over a course of 2 weeks. Note the root waving as it hits the glass plane.
Structure-Function Relations and Rigidity Percolation in the Shear Properties of Articular Cartilage
Articular cartilage, the soft connective tissue that coats bones in joints, is a highly complex and inhomogeneous material. It is made up of a fluid-saturated, cross-linked network of collagen fibrils whose orientation and porosity vary with depth from the articular surface. Interspersed among the network are cells and highly charged molecules called proteoglycans. Cell shape, cell density and proteoglycan density are all also spatially dependent.