My research team is focused on the biomechanics of the human shoulder. The glenohumeral and scapulothoracic joints operate through a wide range of motion and are stabilized by active and passive soft tissues. Balanced constraint is critical for proper shoulder function, as an imbalance in muscle forces or morphology due to pathology or injury can alter motion and lead to dislocation, osteoarthritis, pain, and loss of function. Our goal is to characterize the healthy and deficient shoulder and the implications of surgical treatment. From this baseline, new strategies for the treatment of chronic or acute loss of shoulder function can be developed.
We apply (bio)mechanical engineering principles to study the kinematics of the shoulder, as well as stress/strain relationships of the tissues within the joint. Our research also examines the relationships between the 3D morphology of the scapula and humerus as they relate to pathology and clinical indications for surgery. We utilize the following equipment and techniques, among others: a biomechanical shoulder simulator of the native and repaired shoulder, an Instron for testing repair construct strength, DMAS and Optotrak optical motion tracking, dual fluoroscopy for measurement of in vivo kinematics, Amira/Mimics for 3D reconstruction of medical image data, and statistical shape modeling of bony morphology.
Ongoing research interests include reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, rotator cuff repair constructs, biceps tenodesis repair constructs, and soft tissue mechanical properties. We also contribute to research studying the motion and forces experienced by the humerus in percutaneous osseointegrated docking systems (PODS) for upper extremity amputees.
Our group maintains active collaborations with surgeons and researchers in the Department of Orthopaedics, as well as Bioengineering and Physical Therapy at the University.