Soft Tissue Mechanics Laboratory

STML Current Research

Preparation of sample to understand role of impact loading in development of osteoarthritis.

Below is a brief description of some of the STML's primary research areas.

As a collaborative effort with Dr. Travis Bailey in chemical and biological engineering at CSU, we are currently investigating the design and performance of a block co-polymer based hydrogel for meniscal replacement. The research, funded by the NIH, utilizes a highly fatigue resistant polystyrene polyethylene oxide block co-polymer as the primary material in an inert meniscal replacement. The picture to the left is a side by side comparison of your 3D gel construct compared to the native sheep medial meniscus. For more information click "here"

The skull and horns of bighorn sheep (Ovis Canadensis) undergo massive impact loading in the form of ramming events during mating season. Forces are estimated to be 3400 N (764 lbf) during such events.  The purpose of the violence is to determine the “dominant” male and to earn mating privileges. Such impact loads would cause severe and likely permanent brain trauma in humans, however, after a few moments the rams are unphased.   This simple fact provides the impetus for the STML’s Ram Horn FEA project.



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Post-Traumatic Osteoarthrosis Research



The OBRL investigates mechanisms of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. The research, funded by the NIH, is a collaborative project with Michigan State and the lab of Dr. Roger Haut. The research involves the prevention of acute injuries that may lead to this disease. We investigate methods of early diagnosis and intervention into the disease process. Researchers focus on acute injuries, such as meniscal tearing, bone bruises, cell death, and cartilage matrix damage using in vivo animal models, and in vitro explanted tissues in these studies. The picture to the left is a radiograph showing a clinical, end-stage disease of the knee.

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IntramuscularPressure Measurements and Modeling




Microsensor for Intramuscular Pressure Measurement. NIH funded project with Dr. Kenton Kaufman from the Biomechanics Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic. Goal: Use computational and experimental tools to understand muscle pressure and material properties. The image to the left is the fibre optic pressure sensor.

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Interfacial Tissue Engineering




In 2012, the OBRL began a collaboration with Dr. Daniel Kelly from Trinity College Dublin to recapitulate the native meniscal insertion via a tissue engineered scaffold with hydrogel and electrospun fibers. The image to the left is a histological slide of the native meniscal interface to underlying bone.

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Structure and Function of Meniscal Enthesis




For the last 10 years the OBRL has been funded by the NIH to study the structure and function of meniscal enthesis.

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Servo-hydraulic material test system to determine material properties of biological materials such as muscle, ligaments and meniscus.

Soft Tissue MechanicsLaboratory
Attn: Dr. Tammy L. Haut Donahue
1374 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523
phone:(970) 491-1319