The Wonder and Intricacy of the Human Machine
The human body is an intricately engineered machine. To achieve peak operation the body employs intricately designed molecules, arranged in specific tissues, in different areas of the body. The human body has an incredible level of organization from the molecular level to the tissue level; one small change at the micron level can lead to health issues or even death. In this course, we will take a journey into the human body beginning at the molecular level and ending at the tissue level. We will discuss how molecular structure leads function; leading to a discussion of tissue structure and how molecular arrangement and alignment dictate tissue behavior. In addition, we will have a hands on experience isolating proteins from tissue and reconstituting them into a usable biomaterial.
Joseph W. Freeman, Ph. D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. He earned his B.S.E in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University in Princeton, NJ and his Ph. D. in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University and The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Piscataway, NJ. There, in the laboratory of Dr. Frederick H. Silver, he studied type I collagen mineralization and its effects on elastic and viscoelastic properties through in vitro studies and molecular modeling. Dr. Freeman also studied tendon development, the structure and mechanics of type I collagen, the effect of strain on type I collagen mineralization, and skin mechanical properties.
Following his doctoral work, Dr. Freeman went to the University of Virginia (UVA) as a Research Associate in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery under Dr. Cato T. Laurencin. At UVA, Dr. Freeman worked on the use of novel biomaterials in bone regeneration, the development of new scaffolds for ligament repair, the use of hydrogels for ligament repair, and the design and construction of a braiding machine for ligament graft construction. Dr. Freeman is developing new implantable scaffolds for the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues, using molecular modeling to investigate collagen structure and function, and developing tumor engineering models.