Bone Structure-Function

The skeleton not only provides structure and protection to the body but also participates in metabolic functions and hematopoeisis. Disease pathologies that relate to any of these functions may have associated changes in bone material properties and matrix architecture.

We have previously studied human bone fragility via the accumulation and progression of microscopic cracks, or microdamage, within bone matrix for aged, osteoporotic, and bisphosphonate-treated trabecular bone. Through compressing bone cores, imaging them with micro-CT, and subsequently staining for areas of exposed calcium, we correlated damage regions with regions of high local stresses and strains.

Currently, we are examining the effects of HIV infection on bone structure and biomechanical properties using an HIV-1 transgenic rat model.