Support teaching, research, and patient care.
Our group is interested in the molecular and cell biology underlying bone and cartilage metabolism in health and disease. Normal daily activities are linked to the ability of the articular cartilage to withstand normal joint forces that may reach 5-7 times body weight and bone homeostasis depends on daily mechanical loading histories. The phenotypic stability of cartilage and bone depends on a complex interplay between stimuli influencing cell metabolism, physical forces, cytokines, hormones and growth factors, and the genetic expression determining the material properties of the tissue. Our lab applies modern biochemical techniques to analyze:1. Mechanisms of cartilage degradation in inflammation and sepsis;2. Stimulation of cartilage growth and repair by growth factors and hormones in serum-free culture;3. Effects of adherence and deposition of glycocalyx on bacterial resistance to antibiotic treatment;4. Effects of mechanical stresses and strains on cartilage and bone cell gene expression and matrix syntheses;5. Analysis of metal particles on bone resorption and prosthetic loosening in total joint arthroplasty.The experimental techniques include development of primary cultures of human chondrocytes, quantification of proteoglycan and collagen synthesis and degradation, zymogen and kinetic analysis of neutral metalloproteinases, western analysis of protein expression, northern and slot blot analysis of mRNA levels and cloning of connective tissue and bacterial genes.