Back pain is a leading cause of disability, which has a huge economic burden and causes great suffering to the patient. Our lab is interested in applying engineering principles to understand the underlying mechanisms of back pain by investigating the interfaces between biomechanics, inflammation, and the peripheral nervous system.
Tissue engineering provides great promise for regenerating diseased tissue and restoring function to the spine. Our lab focuses on developing tissue engineering strategies that promote functional tissue development in the pathological spine through biomechanical design inputs and immunomodulation in engineered tissues.
Recent advances in genome engineering and gene regulation now facilitate highly specific control of endogenous gene expression in mammalian cells using CRISPR systems. We apply these novel advancements to tissue engineering and gene therapy applications to treat back pain.