We are hiring for an undergraduate researcher:
We are seeking an undergraduate researcher to assist with work in the Bonassar Lab on cartilage lubrication. Broadly, our lab is interested in understanding the development of osteoarthritis (OA) and discovering new treatments. Cartilage is lubricated by synovial fluid, which enables the tissue to resist wear over millions of loading cycles over the course of a lifetime. One hallmark of osteoarthritis (OA) is a decrease in the ability of synovial fluid within the joint space to lubricate cartilage, which causes cell death and increased wear of the tissue. Consequently, there are several products on the market to improve the lubricating properties of synovial fluid. However, there are many open questions regarding synovial fluid in OA and optimal treatments for OA.
Our lab seeks to answer these questions using mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering skill sets. We study the mechanical properties of synovial fluid using our lab’s custom tribometer, which can measure friction coefficients of cartilage, and rheometers, which measure the viscosity of fluids. We also have strong collaborations with clinicians and an industry partner. As an undergraduate researcher, you would be expected to perform experiments on the tribometer and rheometer, perform analysis of these data, and present them in small group meetings. This research has a strong potential for publication and presentation at national-level conferences. The ideal candidate would have a strong background in solid mechanics, a familiarity with instrumentation for measuring mechanical properties or load cells/strain gages, proficiency in MATLAB and statistics, and prior wet lab experience.
If you are interested in learning more, please take a look at some of the following publications:
- Custom tribometer: https://www.
sciencedirect.com/science/ article/pii/S0021929008001681? via%3Dihub
- Synovial fluid in disease: https://www.ors.org/
- Friction and tissue health: https://www.
sciencedirect.com/science/ article/pii/S0021929018302938? via%3Dihub