15th annual symposium highlights biomechanics research at UD

In laboratories across the University of Delaware, scholars are uncovering new insights about the human body: how a compound in red wine might protect joint cartilage from damage, how bad posture wears down the discs in your back, how your knee heals after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, and more.

These are just a few of the new research findings presented at the 15th annual Biomechanics Research Symposium, held on May 18 at UD. More than 90 scholars attended, the event, which included 10 podium presentations and 33 poster presentations.

The Biomechanics Research Symposium was held by the Center for Biomechanical Engineering Research (CBER), an interdisciplinary research center that develops engineering science and clinical technology to reduce the human impact of diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, degenerated discs, and cystic fibrosis.

“The 15th annual Biomechanics Research Symposium was a success,” said Liyun Wang, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of CBER.  “It was great to see enthusiastic faculty and students participating in this annual event. With diverse backgrounds, from engineering, arts and sciences, and health sciences, they shared new research findings and ideas. The goal of the CBER research symposium is to promote interdisciplinary collaborations and cutting-edge research to improve human health.”

Keynote speaker Jean X. Jiang, Ph.D., the Ashbel Smith Professor of Biochemistry and Structural Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, spoke about her research on cancer bone metastasis.

The following researchers received awards:

Best Podium Presentation:

John Peloquin, a research associate in biomedical engineering, for “In vivo human intervertebral disc strain and its degenerative changes.”

Hiral Master, a doctoral student in physical therapy, for “The Association of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior with Incident Functional Limitation in Knee Osteoarthritis.”

Best Poster:

Meredith Christiansen, a doctoral student in physical therapy, for “Preliminary findings of a novel physical therapist-administered physical activity intervention after TKR.”

Eden Ford, a doctoral student in chemical and biomolecular engineering, for “Incorporating hierarchal structure within hydrogel biomaterials using multifunctional collagen mimetic peptides.”

People’s Choice Poster:

Shubo Wang, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering, for “Effects of Physical Activity on Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis.”

In addition, a select group of undergraduate students were recognized with summer research scholarships in memory of Vincent Baro, a former CBER student whose life ended too early. These awards were made possible by a gift from the Stanley Family Foundation. The following undergraduate engineering students will do biomechanics research in labs at UD this summer:

  • Mary Athanasopoulos will work with Jason Gleghorn, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.
  • Sida Jiang will work with with Liyun Wang.
  • Rachel O’Sullivan will work with Emily Day, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.
  • Christian Poindexter will work with Elisa Arch, assistant professor of kinesiology and applied physiology.
  • Tiange Zhang will work with X. Lucas Lu, associate professor of mechanical engineering.