Microdamage and Remodeling in Bone and Joint Tissues: Mechanical and Biological Implications

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

IEI and MAE Joint Seminar

03/31 (Monday)    Noon – 1:00 pm     LC 400

The Institute for Engineered Interfaces (IEI) has been established with the mission of serving as a meeting place for teams of scientists, engineers and medical professionals, working together to solve critical still open problems. To facilitate discussions and promote collaborations, the IEI has established a lecture series with the aim of introducing critical medical problems to the School of Engineering faculty.

The first seminar in the series is a joint lecture with Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE).

Microdamage and Remodeling in Bone and Joint Tissues: Mechanical and Biological Implications

Dr. Oran Kennedy
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
New York University, Hospital for Joint Diseases

The skeleton is a fascinating structure, when considered from an engineering perspective. Bone, cartilage, muscle and the other connective tissues combine to allow the complex and exquisite movement of humans and animals that we see all around us.

Bone provides much of the leverage for this movement, and also plays an important role in the protection of internal organs and the storage of crucial metabolic minerals such as calcium and phosphate. One fascinating feature of bone tissue is its ability to self-repair after sustaining damage. Although it has been known for a long time that bone 'remodels' (indeed bone is one of the few tissues that undergoes complete repair of mechanical damage with no scar tissue formation), the mechanism behind this has not been fully understood, until now. An intricate signaling response system from the resident cells in bone (osteocytes) allows this to happen.

Cartilage tissue is also an amazing material from an engineering standpoint. With a coefficient of friction 10 times lower than ice-on-ice, this sliver of tissue that lines our joints plays a disproportionately large role in locomotion. The importance of healthy cartilage is highlighted by the consequences of its breakdown, as is evident in diseases such as arthritis. The role of mechanics and mechanobiology in the physiology and pathophysiology of these two tissues will be discussed as the future for new and improved treatments for musculoskeletal disease.


Dr. Oran Kennedy is Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the New York University, Hospital for Joint Diseases. Prior to this appointment he was a Fulbright Post Doctoral Fellow and Research Associate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York.  Oran completed his PhD in Bioengineering at Trinity College Dublin in 2008, where his work was focused on fracture mechanics of osteoporotic bone. Since then his research has broadened to encompass musculoskeletal biology and orthopaedic biomechanics. Author or co-author of several peer reviewed papers in the area, he also serves as reviewer of various international journals in the field.  Oran is also interested and engaged in medical device sector and has experience of orthopaedic device development with campus based start-up companies.