Integrating Imaging and Biomechanics to Study Synovial Joint Health and Disease


Integrating Imaging and Biomechanics to Study Synovial Joint Health and Disease

Dr. Deva Chan, Purdue University

3:30 p.m., April 2, 2024   |   141 DeBartolo Hall

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States, and its prevalence is only expected to rise as the population ages. Conversely, what are considered preventable risk factors for OA – from sports injuries to lifestyle factors – have a rising incidence in younger populations. However preventable these factors may be, current medical interventions have proven powerless to halt the progression of OA once degeneration of the joint tissues has initiated. Efforts to treat OA are hindered by both inadequate detection methods for early OA and an incomplete understanding of the initiation and progression of the disease.

Dr. Deva Chan
Deva Chan, Ph.D.

In this talk, we discuss our work using noninvasive imaging and other biomedical engineering tools to examine the progressive changes in the joint associated with OA. We begin with noninvasive MRI-based approaches to studying cartilage biomechanics and progress to an expanded understanding of the role of hyaluronan synthesis may play in musculoskeletal health and response to joint injury.

Dr. Deva Chan is currently an assistant professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Mechanical Engineering (by Courtesy) at Purdue University. She received a B.S. in engineering from UC Berkeley and a master’s in biomedical engineering at UC Davis before earning her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Purdue.

She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Rush University Medical Center, funded in part by an Arthritis Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. She then served at the NIH Clinical Center as a research fellow through the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine prior to joining Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as faculty in 2016 and moving to Purdue University in 2020.

The Chan Musculoskeletal Research and Innovation (MRI) Lab integrates biomedical imaging, experimental biomechanics, and hyaluronan matrix biology in studying systems from cells to small animals to humans. Dr. Chan was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award to study the role of cell and tissue level mechanical loading on hyaluronan metabolism and function and a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award to study the role of the gut microbiome in modulating musculoskeletal injury risk.