Research and Clinical Trials
One of the Nation’s Premier Orthopaedic Research Programs
The University of Pittsburgh Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is a leader in ongoing research and clinical trials.
With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other public and private institutions, the program has the chance to support and conduct evidence-based research and clinical trials to shape the future of orthopaedic surgery.
Our Research Labs: Highlights of Current Studies
There are 13 research laboratories within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Below is a small sampling of some of the groundbreaking research we're exploring in our labs.
Ferguson Laboratory for Orthopaedic and Spine Research
Researches are leading the development of novel minimally invasive therapies of intervertebral disc degeneration based on the latest gene transfer and stem cell technologies. This research addresses feasibility, safety, and efficacy of these technologies.
The goal of this study is to reduce the incidence of back pain and need for spinal surgery.
Orthopaedic Biodynamics Laboratory
One of the newer orthopaedic labs, the Orthopaedic Biodynamics Laboratory looks at computational evaluation of joint motion and function using high-speed cineradiography.
This will allow in vivo evaluations for:
Cartilage Restoration Center (CRC)
The CRC works to:
- Advance the early diagnosis and treatment of articular cartilage and joint injury, and degeneration.
- Delay or prevent the onset of disabling osteoarthritis.
The research focuses on improving cartilage repair potential and minimizing stress to healthy, degenerative, and aged cartilage.
The lab seeks solutions to these problems from many angles, such as the:
- Development of smart polymers for controlled in vivo release of growth factors.
- Assessment of human stem cell potential.
- Application of imaging technologies, like optical coherence tomography.
Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering
The center focuses on developing the knowledge base and technical know-how for restoring organ functions by applying principles of:
- Cellular and molecular biology
- The physical sciences
Research focuses on the:
- Development, growth, function, and health of the musculoskeletal system.
- Biology of adult stem cells.
- Use of this knowledge to develop technologies that will regenerate and/or restore function to diseased and damaged musculoskeletal tissues.
Sports Orthopaedic Research Laboratory
The Sports Orthopaedic Research Lab explores the causes and treatment of knee-related injuries.
Recent research projects include:
- Defining the effects of clinically relevant meniscal tears in the medial compartment of the knee.
- Studying patellofemoral instability, with the goal of developing an in vitro instability model that will study the anatomy and biomechanics of this common clinical problem.
Stem Cell Research Laboratory
The goals of this lab are to:
- Expand the possibilities of tissue engineering by unlocking the potential of gene therapy and adult stem cell research.
- Transfer research findings into the development of effective treatments for damaged or diseased tissues of the musculoskeletal system.
These findings will explore and develop cutting-edge treatment programs to address musculoskeletal diseases and orthopaedic injuries including:
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)
- Muscle injuries and repair
- Bone and articular cartilage regeneration
Learn more about researchers at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. »
Donate to Orthopaedic Research
Do you have a special interest in ensuring the future of orthopaedic medicine?
Help us sustain our studies and clinical trials, and conduct new orthopaedic research.
Donate to the University of Pittsburgh Orthopaedic Surgery Research Department. »