Biomechanics is an important branch of biophysics that investigates the structure, function, motion and mechanics of the biological system.
The Orthopedic Biomechanics Research Laboratory dates back to 1972, when it was founded at Mayo Clinic as the Biomechanics Laboratory by Edmund Y. Chao, Ph.D., within the Department of Orthopedics, making it one of the earliest biomechanics laboratories in the world. Dr. Chao was succeeded two decades later by Kai-Nan An, Ph.D., who led the lab into multifunctional biomechanics research. Chunfeng Zhao, M.D., is the current lab director.
During the past five decades, the Orthopedic Biomechanics Research Lab has evolved from a simple biomechanical testing lab into a cutting-edge multidisciplinary and translational research facility that has merged the scientific fields of biology, medical imaging, biomaterials and artificial intelligence.
Today, our lab conducts many research projects supported by both Mayo Clinic and externally funded grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the Department of Defense, Regenerative Medicine Minnesota and other organizations. Projects include tissue engineering, stem cell-based therapy, biotherapeutic development, and medical imaging technology in various musculoskeletal tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, muscle, skin, nerve and cartilage. Our projects focus on clinical translational therapeutics that benefit patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
About Dr. Zhao
Dr. Zhao is a career scientist with a clinical background. Dr. Zhao trained as an orthopedic surgeon after graduating from medical school. He practiced in orthopedic surgery for 15 years before pursuing his research career at Mayo Clinic more than two decades ago. He is a professor of orthopedic surgery and a professor of biomedical engineering at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Zhao is also the director of the Biomechanics Core. Dr. Zhao is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), which represents the top 2% of medical and biological engineers. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers.