Steven Eppell

Steven Eppell
Case Western Reserve University (OH)

The Nanoscale Orthopedic Biomaterials Laboratory I direct has two main thrusts. First, we develop instrumentation, models, and techniques that bridge the gap from the atomic to the microscale. We wish to map properties like static charge, dipole moments, and electronic polarizability onto measured three dimensional molecular structures. To make this information useful, we develop techniques that utilize these enriched structural images in the creation of models intended to predict assembly of supramolecular structures as well as the mechanics of these structures. This approach is designed to yield insight into a host of biologically relevant problems ranging from enzyme-substrate interactions to design and synthesis of novel biomaterials to whole tissue mechanics. Second, we utilize biomimetic strategies to design and synthesize orthopedic biomaterials. Most of the work on this thrust has involved determining the nanoscale design constraints of natural bone and tendon. Recently, we have transitioned to synthesizing and testing synthetic bone and tendon materials based on these constraints.