Rebecca F. Reals, BS
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
Dr. Spencer Lake’s lab, located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, studies multiscale structure-function relationships of musculoskeletal soft tissues and joints. We are interested in developing improved treatments for post-traumatic joint contracture (PTJC) of the elbow, a condition in which patients experience stiffness, fibrosis, and reduced range of motion in the affected joint following a traumatic injury such as a fracture or dislocation. We use an established, clinically relevant rat model of elbow PTJC to explore novel physical and biological treatment strategies that target the underlying pathology. The effectiveness of these therapies is then evaluated using biological assays such as histology and immunohistochemistry as well as functional assessments such as forelimb strength and gait analysis.