Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2011

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Martin, James

First Committee Member

McKinley, Todd

Second Committee Member

Grosland, Nicole

Third Committee Member

Ramakrishnan, Prem

Fourth Committee Member

Lim, Tae-Hong


It has been shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are released in response to articular cartilage injury. The excessive release of ROS has been shown to be mitochondrial in nature and leads to chondrocyte death which in turn can lead to post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). Evidence suggests that mitochondria are attached to chondrocytes' cytoskeleton. Upon tissue level deformation, it is believed that mitochondria also experience deformation in response to cytoskeletal strain, releasing ROS. Therefore, it was hypothesized that inhibition of chondrocytes' cytoskeleton would prevent mitochondrial distortion rendering them unable to release ROS in response to the applied strain, saving chondrocytes. Osteochondral explants treated with cytoskeletal inhibitors were found to reduce mitochondrial ROS production directly after impact and increase chondrocyte viability 24 hours after impact. The release of mitochondrial ROS is an important mechanotranduction pathway in the initiation of PTOA.


cartilage, cytoskeleton, mitochondria, ROS


vi, 62 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 58-62).


Copyright 2011 Ellen Elizabeth Sauter