Summary: The central mission of the Northwest Tissue Mechanics laboratory is to improve the well-being of individuals and societies by addressing persistent problems in musculoskeletal health. A core focus of our laboratory is to investigate how soft tissue responds to force during injury and repair, and to then translate this research into innovative medical solutions that are effective, practical and affordable. Our research utilizes experimental and computational methods, and we engage in interdisciplinary collaborations with biologists, engineers and clinicians.
Minimum Classes: NA
Projects: The Northwest Tissue Mechanics laboratory is working to develop treatment strategies that restore ligament function after injury. Ligaments stabilize joints by connecting bone-to-bone. Injuries to joint ligaments (sprains) account for over seven million hospital visits per year, and incur an annual societal cost of three billion. Ligament tears heal slowly, and the healing process results in reparative tissue with altered structure and inferior mechanical strength. On this project, INBRE fellows will have an opportunity to work with cellular gels that are engineered to resemble ligament. Students will conduct mechanical tests and use imaging technology to determine whether physical stimuli can improve the structure and function of the cellular gels. Results from this project will be used to develop new treatment strategies that strengthen ligament healing and reduce the incidence of chronic injury.