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Areas of Research

Members of our department are devoted to addressing difficult problems and advancing knowledge through their research.

Researchers in our basic science laboratories undertake biomechanical projects, translational research, tissue engineering and microsurgery. 

Additionally, our faculty members and trainees undertake numerous projects involving clinical research, prosthetic design, epidemiology and surgical instrumentation and techniques.

Areas of ongoing research include: 

  • optimizing techniques of rotator cuff repair
  • evaluation of chondral lesions in knee injuries
  • management of prosthetic joint infections
  • management of Achilles tendon ruptures
  • epidemiology of shoulder surgery

Investigating Biomaterials

Our research in metallic orthopaedic biomaterials is focused on characterizing and engineering the biological and electrochemical interactions at the surface of metallic implants.

Metals are widely utilized for orthopaedic implants applications. The metals must be mechanically strong and biocompatible to perform well within the human body. Our research seeks to understand the material science and electrochemical factors that influence the biological response to metallic implants. We evaluate corrosion mechanisms of traditional orthopaedic metals — titanium, stainless steel, colbalt-chromium-molybdenum — as well as new generation biodegradeable metals within clinically relevant conditions and, in turn, how corrosion influences the biological response.

We also study how controlling the electrochemical properties of these metals can be utilized to enhance the desired biological response while mitigating deleterious biological interactions.

Breakthroughs in Concussion

We investigate the effects of concussion not only on the brain but on the heart and lungs. We aim to help patients recover and find ways to help doctors better diagnose and treat concussion.

We investigate the physiology of concussion to:

  • determine valid and reliable ways to diagnose concussion and recovery
  • improve the physical examination of concussion
  • use controlled aerobic exercise as a treatment for patients with concussion and post-concussion syndrome (PCS)

Our research is important because it is helping define more specific markers of concussion and recovery and, at the same time, moving the field away from a “rest is best” treatment model to a more active approach to assessment and treatment.

We developed the Buffalo Concussion Treadmill Test, which is the first functional physiological test that can establish recovery from concussion and is used to develop exercise programs for the rehabilitation of patients with PCS. We have shown that athletes with delayed recovery have abnormal control of brain blood flow and that controlled exercise restores brain blood flow to normal.

We have advanced the diagnosis and treatment of these patients by identifying injured subsystems that are amenable to specific forms of therapy.

Biomechanics Research

Our applied orthopaedic biomechanics research focuses on the development and implementation of novel test methods for the mechanical evaluation of orthopaedic and sports medicine devices and procedures under clinically relevant test conditions.

Our research seeks to answer practical questions about surgical techniques and implant performance derived from clinical experiences and challenges. The results can provide additional insight and confidence about clinical decision-making; results can help determine which technique or implant has superior biomechanical performance in a controlled setting.

Additionally, the outcomes can directly inform engineers about the optimal implant design and performance criteria.