Probing the complexity of cartilage using the Atomic Force Microscope

Research Opportunity
Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
St Vincent's Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Romane Blanchard Personal web page
Dr Cathal O’Connell Personal web page

Project Details

The articular cartilage of the knee exhibits complex mechanical properties, including steep stiffness gradients, sensational lubrication, and dynamic viscoelasticity. However, studying and reproducing these properties has been a challenge, since they are exhibited at micro-scales.

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a nanoscience technique which uses a tiny, super-sharp tip to ‘feel’ a surface. As versatile mechanical probe, AFM allows a unique insight into the mechanical microenvironment of materials and tissues. In this project you will use an AFM based at BioFab3D to study both natural and artificial cartilage at cell-relevant scales.  Your measurements, including (i) mapping of elastic modulus, (ii) adhesion at the osteo-chondral interface, and (iii) friction/wear at the articulating surface, will provide a significant contribution towards efforts to regenerate natural hyaline cartilage.

Suited to students with a background in physics, engineering, materials science or similar.

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Graduate Research Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other Graduate Research requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

View application process

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.



Research Node

St Vincent's Hospital