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Bone Seminars in NYC

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  • Bone Seminars in NYC


    The Bone Seminar Series has as its focus the mechanosensory system in
    bone. The seminar series has eight meetings a year beginning in
    October and continuing until April or May. The seminar program will
    be posted on, a website dedicated to research on the
    mechanosensory system in bone.

    The Spring 2002 Bone Seminar Program

    The seminar series will be held in Room 9207 at the CUNY Graduate
    Center on Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 PM. The CUNY Graduate Center is
    in the newly renovated Altman Building at the corner of 34th Street
    and 5th Avenue, catty-corner from the Empire State Building. There
    will be some socializing before the seminar in the GC snack bar on
    the first floor, besides the usual snacks and drinks the 365 Express
    also carries beer and some other alcoholic beverages.
    There are several subway lines nearby and it is less than a
    ten-minute walk to either Grand Central Station or Penn Station.
    There is money to support parking for graduate students, apply to
    Steve Cowin (contact information at the bottom).

    JANUARY 31st, 2001 in room 9207 at the CUNY Graduate Center at 7 PM.

    Speaker: Mitchell B. Schaffler, Ph.D., Professor of Orthopaedics,
    Cell Biology and Anatomy & Director of Orthopaedic Research,
    Department of Orthopaedics, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine and
    Co-Director, New York Center for Biomedical Engineering, City College
    of New York


    Abstract: Skeletal tissues maintain a balance between mechanical wear
    and tear (i.e. fatigue) damage and intrinsic, matrix-level repair.
    Imbalance in this damage-repair homeostasis, either because of
    excessively rapid damage accumulation or because of ineffective,
    inadequate or inappropriate biological responses to chronic injury,
    leads to pathology and, ultimately, mechanical failure of skeletal
    elements. These processes are implicated in a wide range of
    conditions, including overuse injuries, tissue fragility in aging,
    tendon and ligament failures and degenerative joint disease.
    A major function of Haversian (osteonal) remodeling is to
    remove and replace regions of compact bone that accumulate
    microdamage due to fatigue. However, little is known about the
    damage or remodeling responses that occur at the levels of fatigue
    expected to result from normal wear and tear. In particular, how
    bone-remodeling units "target" microscopically damaged areas of bone
    is unknown. Our recent studies of remodeling-repair of microdamage
    find that intracortical resorption effectively removes both
    linear-type microcracks and diffuse matrix damage. Alterations of
    osteocyte and canalicular integrity are observed in microdamaged
    areas. Resorption spaces were also seen within areas of cortex in
    which no bone matrix damage occurred, but alterations of osteocyte
    and canalicular integrity were evident. Recent studies indicate that
    these alterations of osteocyte integrity correspond to osteocyte
    apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Thus, osteocyte death or damage
    may provide a key stimulus for this signaling or targeting the
    remodeling process in bone.

    RESEARCH INTERESTS OF MITCH SCHAFFLER: Major research efforts in bone
    biomechanics and tissue physiology, with emphasis on understanding
    mechanical wear and tear (fatigue) processes in skeletal tissues, and
    the cellular/molecular mechanisms used in the detection and repair of
    connective tissue matrix injury. Related areas of interest extend to
    aging and skeletal fragility, including osteoporosis, and the healing
    and regeneration of bone.

    February 21, 2002 in room 9207 at the CUNY Graduate Center at 7 PM.

    Speaker: Yixian Qin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical
    Engineering, SUNY Stony Brook


    Abstract: Considering the strong anabolic potential of mechanical
    stimuli, and the devastating consequences of removing these
    regulatory signals, it becomes critical to determine how the bone
    cell population perceives subtle changes in their functional
    environment. Indeed, improving our understanding of the manner in
    which mechanical signals influence the temporal and spatial dynamics
    of bone remodeling may help to devise a biomechanically based
    intervention for treating osteoporosis, accelerating fracture healing
    or promoting bony ingrowth into prostheses. The motion of
    interstitial fluid within bone, which arises as a result of
    functional load bearing, is hypothesized to be a critical mediator in
    the perception and response of skeletal tissue to mechanical stimuli.
    However, little is known about the remodeling responses that occur
    during in vivo fluid flow stimuli in the absence of matrix
    deformation. In particular, how bone-remodeling response to specific
    mechanical fluid parameters is unknown. Our recent studies of bone
    remodeling and formation demonstrate a strong correlation between the
    fluid pressure gradient and the surface new bone formation. Fluid
    flow applied at physiological level not only inhibits disuse induced
    bone resorption, but also, dose-dependently, encourage bone formation
    while applied in dynamic frequency. These results can also extend to
    the trabecular region which low magnitude of fluid pressure and/or
    surface fluid shear stress can initiate sufficient adaptive response
    in trabeculae without matrix strain. The results suggest that the
    fluid flow, which arises by functional loading, is an important
    mediator in retaining bone quality and quantity, and that small
    fluctuations in fluid flow, achieved via pressure differentials, has
    potential for therapeutic applications against skeletal disorders
    even in the absence of mechanical strain.

    RESEARCH INTERESTS OF YIXIAN QIN: Major research efforts in tissue
    remodeling and non-invasive assessment of bone physiology and
    quality, with emphasis on understanding fluid flow mechanism in
    skeletal tissues, and mechanotransduction of physical stimuli.
    Related areas of interest extend to diagnostics of skeletal tissue
    quality, including osteoporosis, space osteopenia and fracture

    March 21, 2001 in room 9207 at the CUNY Graduate Center at 7 PM.

    Speaker: Peter S. Walker

    Title: TBA

    April 18, 2002 in room 9207 at the CUNY Graduate Center at 7 PM.

    Speaker: Professor Susannah P. Fritton, PhD, Associate Professor of
    Mechanical Engineering, The City College


    Abstract: Although it is well accepted that mechanical signals are
    critical to maintain an adequate skeleton, the mechanism by which
    bone cells sense their mechanical environment and initiate the
    resorption and/or deposition of bone tissue is not known.
    Load-induced interstitial fluid flow is believed to play a role in
    bone's mechanosensory system via the shear stresses that it produces
    on bone cells, stresses that have been shown to produce biochemical
    responses in bone cells in vitro. Load-induced bone fluid flow has
    also been proposed to enhance mass transport in bone to ensure the
    metabolic function of bone cells that is crucial for bone growth,
    maintenance, and adaptation.
    Diffusion of molecules through the porous bone matrix has been
    studied in animal models using injected tracers, and recently tracer
    methods have been used to experimentally confirm the existence of
    load-induced transport within bone tissue. However, because bone
    tissue has three distinct porosities (vascular, lacunar-canalicular,
    and collagen-hydroxyapatite), understanding bone fluid flow remains a
    challenge. A fundamental question remains unanswered: What is the
    size of the smallest bone pore that is available for interstitial
    fluid flow? Conflicting reports exist in the literature as to whether
    bone fluid can flow through the smallest pores in the mineralized
    matrix (the collagen-hydroxyapatite microporosity) in addition to
    flowing through the lacunar-canalicular porosity. In this seminar,
    our recent work documenting where injected tracers of different sizes
    travel in the bone microporosity will be presented and compared to
    findings from the literature. Delineating the pathway of bone
    interstitial fluid flow will help to further delineate bone's
    microstructure and should contribute to the understanding of bone's
    mechanosensory system.

    RESEARCH INTERESTS OF SUSANNAH FRITTON: Understanding the adaptive
    response of bone to mechanical forces; bone's mechanosensory system.


    The Interinstitutional Steering Committee (ISC) will make decisions
    concerning the seminar series, including the selection of speakers.
    Interesting, high quality seminar speakers are sought. Seminar
    attendees are asked to help in the identification of investigators
    with new results relative to the bone research questions of current
    interest and distinguished bone researchers visiting New York City
    who might be persuaded to present a seminar. Presentations by
    advanced graduate students and are encouraged.
    The members of the Interinstitutional Steering Committee (ISC) are
    Adele Boskey (Head of the Mineralized Tissue Section at the Hospital
    for Special Surgery and Professor of Biochemistry at the Weill
    Medical College of Cornell University), Timothy Bromage (Director of
    the Hard Tissue Research Unit and Professor of Anthropology at Hunter
    College of CUNY), Stephen C. Cowin (Director of the New York Center
    for Biomedical Engineering (NYCBE) and Professor of Mechanical
    Engineering at the City College of the City University of New York
    (CUNY)), Susannah P. Fritton (Director of the Tissue Mechanics
    Laboratory, New York Center for Biomedical Engineering and Associate
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the City College of CUNY), X.
    Edward Guo (Director of the Bone Bioengineering Laboratory and
    Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Columbia University),
    Clinton T. Rubin (Director of the Musculo-Skeletal Research
    Laboratory and Professor in the Departments of Orthopedics and
    Mechanical Engineering at SUNY Stony Brook) and Mitchell B. Schaffler
    (Director of Orthopaedic Research and Professor of Orthopedics, Cell
    Biology and Anatomy at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine). Each of
    these people represents a community consisting of senior bone
    research people, graduate students and, in most cases, undergraduate

    For bone research information, visit .
    Stephen C. Cowin
    2166 Broadway
    Apartment 12D
    New York, NY 10024

    Phone (212) 799-7970 (Office at Home)
    Fax (212) 799-7970 (Office at Home)
    Phone (212) 650-5208 (Work)
    Fax (212) 650-6727 (Work)

    Stephen C. Cowin
    Director, New York Center for Biomedical Engineering
    School of Engineering
    The City College
    138th Street and Convent Avenue
    New York, NY 10031-9198, U. S. A.
    For information about the New York Center for Biomedical
    Engineering visit

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