Structural and compositional properties of bone throughout its hierarchy (from the whole bone to the molecule) are responsible for its unique mechanical properties, particularly its strength and toughness and its ability to adapt to mechanical load. Disruptions within the hierarchy or alterations in the mechanical load on the bone can result in changes in its mechanical and structural properties. The Shefelbine lab uses a combination of computational modeling, animal experiment, and clinical studies to examine multi-scale mechanics and adaptation in bone. The techniques they have developed to investigate multi-scale mechanics help in understanding bone’s adaptive response, which occurs across length scales.
Dr. Sandra J. Shefelbine is currently on the faculty in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern. She received her BSE from Princeton University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, an MPhil in Engineering Design from Cambridge University, and a PhD from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering. She was recipient of the National Science Foundation International Post-Doctoral Fellowship for work at the Institute for Orthopedic Research (Ulm, Germany) and subsequently had a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Radiology at UCSF. She was a Reader in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College in London before moving to Northeastern University in 2013. She currently lectures mechanics and musculoskeletal biomechanics and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards.