The SRC-associated faculty are a dynamic group of junior and
senior investigators who have interacted for a number of years, and have published together.
We have common interests, but also diverse expertise in biology, engineering and clinical
In order to best utilize our research expertise and facilities, we have clustered
our technical capacities into a number of Core Facilities. These Core Facilities are dedicated
to moving these technologies forward, while, at the same time, providing invaluable services
to ongoing research projects.
The members of the Center Staff represent a resource for the faculty and other researchers
associated with the Center providing not only expert advice but also purified reagents and
information on current technologies of interest to the Center Faculty.
Proteoglycans are macromolecules consisting of covalently attached protein and polysaccharides.
The polysaccharide components of proteoglycans are glycosaminoglycans, which are highly
anionic moieties and which confer much of the physicochemical and functional properties
to proteoglycans, although the protein components also provide many functional aspects
to proteoglycan molecules. Proteoglycans are responsible for the resiliency of cartilage,
and affect the tensile strength of skin. These molecules also affect cell migration and
proliferation and play roles in various molecular interactions, such as growth factor binding.
The detailed analysis of proteoglycans allows an indication of tissue complexity and age.
The analysis of this class of molecules provides one of the investigative backbones for the
research of the center.
The Biomechanics Core focuses on evaluating the mechanical behavior of tissues used in
cartilage repair and the material properties of cartilage.
Joseph M. Mansour, Ph.D.
is in charge of the Biomechanics Core.
A bioreactor is an essential tissue engineering tool not only to provide optimal nutrient supply and
waste removal, but also to control environmental conditions such as pH, temperature, or pressure.
Bioreactors are ideal for tissue engineering of large three-dimensionally complex tissues.
The Bioreactor Core provides state-of-the-art bioreactor culture support for SRC investigators
for routine tissue engineering as well as technical expertise for experimental design and
development of project-specific bioreactor systems. Ongoing research and development focuses on
developing a clinically useful toolset for osteochondral tissue engineering.
The Bioreactor Core provides individual bioreactor modules for culturing MSCs or chondrocytes in
scaffolds under optimal medium flow and growth and differentiation conditions.
Jean F. Welter, M.D., Ph.D.
is in charge of the Bioreactor Core Facility, with the assistance of one full-time staff member.
The Cell Core serves as a centralized technical and dispensing facility, dedicated to
producing MSCs using Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to insure that all of the Center
research projects will be conducted with the same high quality MSC preparations. In addition,
the Cell Core Facility conducts quality control assays including the screening, selection and
procurement of specialized reagents needed for the isolation and expansion procedures. In
particular, the fetal bovine serum used in the culture-expansion medium must be carefully
screened and selected. Finally, the Cell Core Facility conducts experimentation to optimize
the differentiation potential of the cell preparations to be supplied to the Center's Investigators.
The standard operating protocols and procedures (SOPs) for isolation, expansion and characterization
of MSC preparations are in hand as are the SOPs for isolation and expansion of other cell types
from a variety of human and animal tissues.
Don Lennon, D.D.S. is the director of the Stem Cell Core Facility.
Monoclonal Antibody Core
This facility generates and maintains a large repertoire of monoclonal antibodies which are used as
research probes in a variety of current experiments related to muscle, cartilage, bone, and skin.
J. Michael Sorrell, Ph.D.
is in charge of the Monoclonal Antibody Facility associated with the Center.
In addition, he is collaborating with center faculty to design non-invasive diagnostics using
this antibody technology. Dr. Sorrell supervises a full time senior staff member.
The Morphology Core is equipped and staffed to provide standard histology services, such as embedding,
sectioning and staining, as well as more specialized techniques such as frozen sectioning and
immunohistochemical staining. The Core is equipped with microtomes, automated embedding centers,
upright and inverted microscopes for brightfield and fluorescence microscopy, and image analysis software.
Expertise is available for scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and also for the morphometric
analysis of bone sections using Osteomeasure software.
Amad Awadallah manages the
day-to-day activities of the Morphology Core under the direction of
James E. Dennis, Ph.D, and
Jennifer Mikulan provides
additional technical support.
Tissue Culture Core
In many of the model systems used by the Center Faculty for their experimentation, cell cultures
are indispensable. The Center has two suites of class 10,000 rooms equipped with modern
transfer hoods, incubators, microscopes and all other cell culture devices.
Donald Lennon, D.D.S., is in charge of the Tissue Culturing Facilities and is responsible for isolating
and perpetuating cells in culture from various sources including those from cartilage and bone.
Dr. Lennon maintains and operates this facility for center faculty and for members of
collaborating laboratories. Dr. Lennon employs two full-time support staff to assist in these activities.