Ellman – Biomedical/Mechanical Engineering
Options: Volunteer Basis
Project description: Our lab is primarily concerned with how bone tissue is affected by a variety of factors – like age, mechanical stimuli, diet, and hormones. In this project, our goal is to relate mechanical strain within the hindlimb of a mouse to different indices of bone adaptation. This will allow us to answer a fundamental question of bone biology – what mechanical signals are stimulating bone adaptation?
Techniques: To measure strain, we will surgically implant a miniature strain gage on the bone and collect data while the mouse walks over a force plate. Then we will develop a 3D model of the bone, using a high resolution x-ray imaging modality called micro-computed tomography (microCT), which will then become the basis of a finite element model (FEM). This FEM will be used to computationally estimate the 3D strain distribution within the bone, which we will then compare to already-collected data on patterns of bone remodeling. You would assist with the live mouse experiment, perform the microCT scans, learn the FEM software, develop the FEM model, help validate the data with mechanical testing, and assist where otherwise needed.
Pre-requisites: No prior knowledge of bone biology is necessary, but experience with structural mechanics, computer programming, LabVIEW, and/or MATLAB is desired. Laboratory training in mouse dissection, microCT scanning, and mechanical testing will be provided.
Dr. Mary Bouxsein
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Associate Biologist, Endocrine Division, Massachusetts General Hospital
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University
Faculty Member, Bioastronautics Program, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
Ph.D. Candidate – Medical Engineering and Medical Physics
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
Bioastronautics Training Program