Distinguished Lecture Series – Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering

Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series on Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering entitled ‘Molecular and Cellular Biomechanics of Articular Cartilage’ to be delivered by Dr. Van C. Mow, Stanley Dicker Professor and Chairman, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University.


Details of the Talk

Dr. Van C. Mow, Stanley Dicker Professor and Chairman, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University

Dr. Van C. Mow received his Ph.D. in applied mechanics in 1966 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, did his postdoctoral fellowship in applied mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU, 1967-68, where he studied ocean waves, and a member of Technical Staff of Bell Labs, 1968-69 where he developed programs for the sonar network off the East Coast of America.

He returned to Rensselaer in 1969 when he began his biomechanics research. He is one of the earliest, and most recognized, biomechanist in the world with 705 full-length, book chapters and meeting abstract publications, and he has edited 7 books.

He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1991 and Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 1998, and elected Academician of the Academia Sinica, Republic of China, 2004.

He has served on numerous professional societies as elected officer, and advisor to the FDA, NIH, NSF, NASA and NRC committees, and received numerous awards for his contributions. For his contributions to ASME, and its Bioengineering Division, in 2004 the ASME created the annual Van C. Mow Medal awarded to an outstanding bioengineers at mid career (10 – 20 years after graduation with a Ph.D. and/or M.D.)

October 5, 2007 (Friday)

17:30 – 18:30

Lecture Theatre C, Chow Yei Ching Building, HKU

All biological tissues and organs are comprised of cells and their extracellular matrices that they manufacture and organize for specific functions. Genes are fundamental in controlling these cellular activities during growth, and maintenance of tissues and organs. Signals, biochemical, biophysical and biomechanical, are required to turn on and control these biosynthetic processes.

This lecture will address some aspects of the mechano-signal transduction process that are often neglected by biologists and biochemists working in the field of signal transduction. In particular the nature of the constituent macromolecules (eg, proteoglycans and collagens) that the cells produce is considered in the organization of the tissues and in the production of the signals will be considered. For these studies, articular cartilage will be chosen as the paradigm to illustrate the necessity for further in-depth studies of the extracellular fields which are necessary for the understanding any cellular mechano-signal transduction process.

Articular cartilage is an aneural tissue that is also lacking in blood supply and lymphatic systems. In other words, it is a physiologically isolated tissue. In the matured normal tissue as in any diarthrodial joint, these cells receive a variety of signals generated by mechanical loads applied onto their surfaces, and by transport processes (convection and diffusion) across their surfaces.

Moreover, in normal tissues, the chondrocytes are islands embedded in a sea of dense collagenproteoglycan matrix, and bathed in the interstitial fluid with dissolved electrolytes. Therefore, this tissue is a paradigm for mechano-signaltransduction studies since there is a need to isolate and define the electrical, mechanical and physicochemical signals that cells receive that are believed to be necessary to turn on biosynthesis and control of tissue microarchitecture.

This lecture will present an up-to-date understanding of the application of a mechano-electrochemical theory (triphasic) used to describe articular cartilage, and the various signal fields surrounding chondrocytes that are embedded within the cartilage extracellular matrices.

This event is free of charge.

For more information, please visit:

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact the Faculty of Engineering by phone at 2859 2803 or by email at enggfac@hkucc.hku.hk or by fax at 2546 9142.

Please kindly register. ALL ARE WELCOME.