Mechanobiology of mandibular condylar cartilage

Cartilage homeostasis is a carefully choreographed balance between anabolic and catabolic activities. We work on the mechanobiological mechanisms that regulate this growth and degeneration.  Specifically, we are interested in understanding how chondrocytes interact with the extracellular matrix and transduce mechanical forces into biochemical signals. There is good reason to believe that this pathway plays a very important role in both development and the progression of degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis.



Free body analysis of the orofacial skeleton

From a solid mechanics perspective, the orofacial skeleton is just a system of forces acting on a rigid body in equilibrium. This system of forces can be reduced to a single resultant force and a coupling moment that maintains the equivalent translation and rotation of the original system of forces. We have derived a series of equations using this approach that allow us to calculate joint reaction forces and bite force over a wide range of musculoskeletal configurations. We are using this model to understand how free body mechanics has shaped the evolution and development of the mammalian orofacial skeleton.




David Reed, Reed Lab, The University of Illinois at Chicago (2015)