Chelsea Heveran ME Faculty Candidate - Research Seminar
- Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 11:00am
- Roberts Hall - view map
Towards the maintenance and restoration of skeletal tissue fracture resistance
Abstract: Tissues of the musculoskeletal system derive strength and fracture toughness from biomaterial components that are hierarchically arranged from the nanoscale to the whole structure. When material properties such as the fracture toughness of skeletal tissues are disrupted, the resulting pain and disability often diminish quality of life and life expectancy. Yet many questions remain about why skeletal tissues become fragile. In particular, clinicians are limited by poor understanding of how bone and meniscus - a critical fibrocartilaginous structure in the knee - lose intrinsic toughness from aging and disease.
In this seminar, I will first describe how Chronic Kidney Disease, a common disease among the elderly associated with skeletal fragility, worsens bone material quality and reduces bone tissue toughness. I will then consider how the osteocyte, an embedded bone cell responsible for tissue remodeling and communication, may profoundly affect bone material and resistance to fracture in response to physiological stress or metabolic diseases. Lastly, I will describe how fracture toughness and toughening mechanisms can be investigated for the meniscus and related to aging and disease. This knowledge could be employed for the design of biomimetic scaffold-based repair tissue as a beneficial alternative to conventional meniscectomy.
Bio: Chelsea Heveran is a doctoral candidate in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before pursuing her PhD, Chelsea worked in clinical orthopedic research at Oregon Health & Science University and completed master’s work in Materials Science & Engineering at Boston University. Chelsea is interested in the intersections of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, and Physiology. Her overall research goals are to understand how material determinants of toughness in skeletal tissues are altered by aging and disease, and to use this knowledge to target strategies for maintaining or restoring the desired tissue toughness. Chelsea was selected as a Philanthropic Education Organization Fellow for 2016-2017 from national competition across women from all graduate majors. She is a primary or co-author on six manuscripts, ranging from basic bone research to nanomechanics of solid-state electrolyte materials.