The Orthopaedics Research Laboratory is an 8600 square foot well-equipped lab staffed by orthopaedic surgeons, engineers, scientists and technicians. The laboratory includes an operating room, a microsurgery lab, a tissue preparation room, cell culture and tissue engineering areas, histology lab, microbiology lab and biomaterials and nanotechnology room.
The Orthopaedic Research Lab houses an arthroscopy wet lab. It has a Stryker arthroscopic system that contains all the components required to conduct teaching labs with the residents or to conduct research. The lab has access to fresh cadaver tissue that is utilized for both teaching and research.
Cadaveric Teaching Lab
The cadaver teaching lab is equipped with a full array of surgical instrumentation, including power equipment, for anatomical dissection. Often the dissection is to practice procedures and surgical approaches, while at other times dissection is an integral part of research projects that involves specific cadaveric tissue. This particularly valuable asset is available to faculty and residents.
The cadaveric lab is now also equipped with state-of-the-art videoconferencing equipment that makes interactive conferencing with surgeons state and nation wide easily accomplished. True HD cameras carry the signal to the Learning Center to allow the classroom participants to watch live system. The videoconferencing equipment is also capable of recording videos for use as instructional videos, or as presentation media to view surgical techniques suitable for submission to national or international meetings.
Cell Culture Lab
The cell culture lab is fully equipped active lab with all the essential equipments for growing and maintaining cell cultures. Human cell lines, animal cell lines as well as tissue-derived cells are used in experiments.
This lab is fully equipped to process tissue samples for histology. Tissues can be processed, sectioned and stained in this lab. A fume hood along with an embedding station and a microtome are available at all times for the departmental use. A chemical cabinet with all chemicals necessary for histological procedures is housed in the same lab.
Image Analysis Center
The Orthopaedic Research Lab utilizes excellent optical facilities located at the Image Analysis Center, Department of Anatomy. The center supports transmitted and reflected light microscopy with Optimus image analysis software, inverted stage microscopy, confocal microscopy, and SEM. Image analysis and slide-making workstations are also available.
The microsurgery lab has two operating microscopes and has a dedicated microsurgical technician who has years of experience teaching residents and faculty how to perform these delicate procedures. Basic and advanced microsurgical techniques (arterial anastomosis, venous anastomosis and neural anastomosis) are taught.
The lab is also used for basic science research. There is currently a project being conducted that involves repairing a rat femur fracture using a K-wire as an intramedullary nail. Because of the small size of the operative field, use of the operating microscope is required.
Molecular Biology Lab
Routine molecular biological analyses and tests on tissue and cultured cell lines are performed in this laboratory. RNA extraction from cartilage and bone tissue and other cultured cells followed by real-time PCR are also carried out. This lab is also equipped to carry out protein extraction, gene-transfer research as well as plasmid cloning.
The lab is outfitted with state of the art robotic equipment for performing nanotechnological techniques. Some of the on-going projects include:
- Antibiotic loaded nanocoatings for infection prevention
- Local delivery of IL-12 for infection prevention
- Drug-loaded nanocoatings for rapid fracture healing
- Innovative biomimetic coatings
- Polypeptide nanoparticles and microcapsules as sustained drug delivery vehicles
The following equipment are readily available at the laboratory: MTS Servo hydraulic testing machine; hip simulator fixture to simulate single-legged stance and stair climbing loads with joint and abductor loading; laser displacement device, optical markers and PC data acquisition systems, materials testing and evaluation laboratories.