Each year, approximately 200,000 persons in the United States suffer tears of their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).  Approximately 2/3 of those tears require surgical reconstruction (1/3 at the time of injury and 1/3 at a later time).

While orthopaedic surgeons are on the front line to repair tears of the ACL, Dr. Savio Woo and his team at the Muscular Skeletal Research Center (MSRC) are the important partners to the surgeons, developing a fundamental understanding of the function of the ACL and the other components of the knee.  Through the eyes of the biomedical engineer, the MSRC is developing a better understanding of the function of the ligaments and the MSRC has identified ways to optimize surgical procedures, and enhance successful outcomes.

As you’ll hear in podcast #9, Dr. Woo and his multidisciplinary team makes use of robotics to understand the role of the ACL and the other components of the knee.  They are also investigating the use of tissue engineered scaffolds to facilitate the repair of torn ACLs.  The attached graphic amplifies on the research strategies and focus areas of the MSRC.  To learn more about the work of Dr. Woo and his colleagues, see the MSRC web site.

Savio L-Y. Woo, PhD, DSc is the W.K. Whiteford Professor, Department of Bioengineering, and Professor-Mechanical Engineering, and Professor-Rehabilitation Science & Technology, University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Woo is also Vice Chairman for Research, Mentorship/Internship Program, Department of Bioengineering.

Dr. Woo is a recipient of an Olympic Gold Metal in recognition of his untiring contributions to the science of sports medicine. As Dr. Woo details in the podcast, he and his wife have established the “Asian and American Institute for Education and Research” (ASIAM).

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

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook