Microbes in Orthopaedic Biomechanics

Monthly Lecture Series from Bioengineering Leaders



Date of event: Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021

Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

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Dr. Hernandez is Professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University and is an Adjunct Scientist at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. Hernandez is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR). He is the 2018 recipient of the Fuller Albright Award for Scientific Excellence from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Orthopaedic Research Society and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. His laboratory’s research currently focuses on the effects of the microbiome on bone and joint disorders, periprosthetic joint infection and the biomechanics and mechanobiology of bacteria.


In orthopaedics, microbes are considered a major threat to the patient health and the success of orthopaedic surgery. However, findings over the past decade have demonstrated that commensal microbes – those that reside in the body naturally, play a major role in human health. The microbiome consists of the microbial organisms that colonize the human body, the vast majority of which occupy the gut. Here I provide an introduction to the microbiome including the state of the art in the field and current concepts related to how the gut microbiome could influence distant organs such as bones and joints. I review recent preclinical and clinical studies linking the gut microbiome to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Additionally, I discuss a preclinical model of periprosthetic joint infection and review recent work from our group showing that modulation of the gut microbiome can influence susceptibility to periprosthetic joint infection. Although much of the work done to date has focused on the effects of the microbiome on disease pathogenesis, the gut microbiome contains over 5 million bacterial genes, each a potential drug target with the potential to be a novel, inexpensive, and innocuous treatment or preventive intervention for musculoskeletal disorders.


2021-11-17 00:00:00