Recipient of the David and Kathy Root Research Scholarship (2009)

I am an undergraduate bioeingineering student at the University of Pittsburgh. My time working at the Musculoskeletal Research Center (MSRC) has proved to be an invaluable experience. Since coming to this special research community, my interest in the field of orthopedic research has grown tremendously. It is exciting to think that the research I am completing during my time here is not only supplementing the knowledge I have gained in class but benefiting the field.

My research project deals with Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction using Patellar Tendon allografts. Allograft tissue has gained popularity in recent years. However, there are many factors to consider in acquiring these tissues, including sterilization procedures, donor recruitment issues, and size mismatches. As a result, these tissues are collected, processed and stored as well as shipped across the country by tissue banks. Multiple freeze-thaw cycles are required in the process. My project focused on the effect these multiple freeze-thaw cycles had on the structural and mechanical properties of the allograft patellar tendon. Thus, the results from this study will have shed some insight on tissue procurement procedures, and provide the data whether the current methods of storage and shipment are sufficient.

I would like to thank ASIAM and Mr. and Mrs. David Root, Jr. for their generosity in allowing me to continue my research, and for all the guidance Dr. Woo and my mentors at the MSRC have provided me.