The Cartilage Restoration Center collaborates with the Biomechanics Laboratory at Rush in many of it’s research studies involving mechanical testing of articular cartilage. One of it’s close collaborators is the head of the Biomechanics Lab, Elizabeth Shewman (PhD), whom has over 20 years of experience mechanically testing biological tissues. The Biomechanics Lab plays a vital role in our Cartilage research. For instance, the technology in the lab allow us to look at the different pressure mappings in a joint after various cartilage treatments.
Biologics and Biochemistry
The CRC at Rush also works very closely with the Department of Biochemistry at Rush. Specifically, the lab of Dr. Susanna Cubinskaya, an internationally recognized expert in the field of growth factors/bone morphogenetic proteins in cartilage repair and regeneration. The focus of her current research is post-traumatic osteoarthritis and biologic approaches to cartilage repair. Working with Dr. Chubinskaya put the Cartilage Restoration center at the forefront of research involving the different biologic treatments and growth factors.
Dr. Inoue, a MD/PhD who specializes in computer modeling, and the CRC conduct a great deal of translational research. Dr. Inoue creates study specific computer programs that process CT and MRI imaging into 3-Dimensional computer models. This allows the other staff of the CRC to expand on their clinical and biomechanical finding and to exceed the standards of basic science standards.
Finite Element Analysis
Using some of the computer programs created by Dr. Inoue, the CRC can then collaborate with the lab of Dr. Hannah Lundberg (PhD). Dr. Lundberg’s laboratory combines novel computational and experimental modalities to better represent joint function in vivo and improve surgical outcomes.
Clinical Outcomes and PRO collection
Along with the great deal of Basic Science Research that the CRC at Rush is involved in, the Center is also heavily involved in Clinical Science Research. This involves the research staff collecting Patient Reported Outcomes from all of the patients undergoing a cartilage restoration procedure, injection trial, or any other studying evaluating the efficacy of a cartilage treatment. The staff will have the patient fill out the basic validated surveys that apply to their specific treatment as a baseline and then repeat at set time points post treatment, allowing for the assessment of the effectiveness of the treatment.
The CRC at Rush also performs translational research with the Comparative Research Center at Rush, which is staffed with Veterinarians and Vet Techs, allowing us to perform studies using animal models. The latest animal model study performed was a goat model studying the efficacy of an amniotic membrane implant for articular cartilage defects in the knee.