Musculoskeletal Bioengineering

quoteThe musculoskeletal system is essential for personal locomotion and all daily activities in humans. The bones, supporting structures such as ligaments, cartilage, and tendons, and control systems such as neural innervation and vascular blood supply all play a role in maintaining the system’s proper function. Orthopedic injuries are one of the leading causes of lost productivity and medical costs.

UVa biomedical engineers are taking innovative approaches to musculoskeletal problems, including tissue engineering of bone replacements for non-healing bone defects, bone regeneration in vivo using gene therapy, ligament repair using drug delivery and stem cell therapy, gait analysis for diagnosing neural or skeletal problems, injury biomechanics to improve motor vehicle safety, and vascular re-growth in injured bone and connective tissue. This is a highly multidisciplinary group that creates interactions among orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, mechanical engineering, radiology, and cell biology, using technologies from molecular biology to whole bone strength testing.

Primary Faculty

Silvia Salinas Blemker: structure and biology of skeletal muscle, computational modeling of the musculoskeletal system, and movement disorders

George Christ: muscle physiology, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine

William Guilford: molecular basis of muscle contraction and cell movement

Jeff Holmes: mechanical regulation of hypertrophy in cardiac muscle

Craig Meyer: MRI of muscle

Affiliated Faculty

Jeff Crandall: impact biomechanics, computational mechanics, and vehicle crashworthiness

Richard Kent: computational and experimental studies of traumatic injury biomechanics and mechanical modeling of biological structures