You can’t make a working synthetic tissue or joint until you fully understand how a natural one functions. That’s the mantra of Dr. Van Mow, who has led the field of  tissue engineering decades, and a co-creator of the generalized theory of classical mechanics, which makes it possible to calculate the mechanical loads acting on our bodies as we perform everyday tasks.

As you’ll hear in podcast #8, Dr. Mow is now examining laboratory-made tissues to see if they can function as natural tissues do. If not, it’s back to the drawing board: Thanks to Dr. Mow’s guidance, regenerative medicine researchers are concentrating on doing work right, rather than first. He’s helped to bring the field through the overly-speculative 1990s, a time of what he calls “irrational exuberance,” to the nose-to-the-grindstone present, what Dr. Mow calls the era of “functional tissue engineering.”

Van C. Mow, PhD is the Stanley Dicker Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Bioengineering, and Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University.

The citation for the pivotal manuscript that Dr. Mow references in his discussion is:

Fung, Y.C.: Biomechanics: it’s scope, history, and some problems of continuum mechanics in physiology. Appl. Mech. Rev., 21: 1-20, 1968.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

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