Research Expertise and Interest
biomechanics, tissue engineering, intervertebral disc, cartilage
Grace O'Connell is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her research is focused on soft tissue biomechanics and tissue regeneration. Specifically, her goal is to understand the mechanical function of the healthy, degenerated and injured intervertebral discs in order to develop more physiologically relevant repair strategies. Injury, through herniation, or degeneration may lead to debilitating lower back pain. Current research is focused on understanding alterations in biomechanics and tissue remodeling with degeneration and injury. Other studies are focused on using organ culture techniques to directly measure tissue remodeling and potential biological repair strategies.