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Welcome to the home page for the Oxford Mechanobiology group!

Mechanobiology - what's that?

Tissues in the musculoskeletal system (e.g. tendon, cartilage, muscle, bone) are exquisitely designed to give superb mechanical properties. These tissues are also able to adapt themselves to withstand changing mechanical conditions. Understanding these two exciting features is the key to new treatments for painful and costly degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and tendinopathy.

Mechanobiology is the new and emerging science, coupling mechanical and biological analysis, that will enable these breakthroughs to become reality. 

Although we are part of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the Department of Engineering Science, our labs are hosted at the Botnar Research Centre, on the site of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, 5 minutes walk from the main IBME site. Thus we are able easily to collaborate with biomedical engineering colleagues and across disciplines - cell and molecular biology, orthopaedic and trauma surgery - in order to focus on clinically relevant projects. 

 MPM image of tendon

Multiphoton microscopy image of tendon, exploiting capabilities of visualising microstructural details without the use of added fluorescent dyes.

Mechanically stimulated osteoblast

We study the effects of mechanical stimuli on musculoskeletal cells and tissue and multiple scales. These images compare unstimulated osteoblasts with osteoblasts stimulated by cyclic substrate strains of 2.5% at 1 Hz. Actin filaments are stained green, integrins red and nuclei blue.