Advanced Platform Technology Center
Steven Eppell, PhD
The focus of research in Dr. Eppell’s laboratory is on orthopedic biomaterials. Fixation of implants (a biochemical phenomenon) and stress shielding (a biomechanical phenomenon) are two of the major clinical problems associated with currently available biomaterials. The lab is interested in taking a first principles approach to understanding molecular interactions leading to biochemical and biomechanical function of cartilage and bone. The emphasis is on analysis of these tissues at the sub-molecular level which is accomplished by the development and use of nanoscale instrumentation. Currently the lab is applying these techniques to the study of collagens and the fundamental mineral units found in bone. The results of these experiments will guide us away from the use of homogenous materials (like the clinically popular Ti and Co based alloys) and toward more sophisticated hierarchical composites.