University of Vermont
Dr. Michalek's research focuses on biomechanics of low back pain, with a particular focus on injury and repair of the intervertebral disc. This soft connective tissue structure is responsible for the dual roles of maintaining stability and connectivity of the spinal column while also allowing it to bend. The disc is composed of a complex, hierarchical fiber reinforced composite, which is extremely strong but slow to heal from injuries.
Current areas of investigation include growth and development of fibrous tissue structures, the mechanical consequences of tissue damage at a broad range of size scales, and evaluation of clinical therapeutic procedures with an eye towards minimizing invasiveness. This is accomplished through integration of mechanical testing, advanced digital imaging and analysis, and analytical modeling.
Crosslinked Fibrin Hydrogels for Intervertebral Disc Annulus Repair. (US Patent #8,968,725)
This is a select list of Dr. Michalek's latest publications. A complete listing can be found here.
- Varden LJ, Nguyen DT, Michalek AJ. Slow Depressurization Following Intradiscal Injection Leads to Injectate Leakage in a Large Animal Model, JOR Spine, 2019, 2(3), e1061.
- Michalek AJ. A Growth-Based Model for the Prediction of Fiber Angle Distribution in the Intervertebral Disc Annulus Fibrosus, Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 2019, 18(5), pp1363-1369.
- Michalek AJ, Kuxhaus L, Jaremczuk D, Zaino NL. Proteoglycans Contribute Locally to Swelling, but Globally to Compressive Mechanics in Intact Cervine Medial Meniscus, Journal of Biomechanics, 2018, 74, pp86-91.
- Duclos SE, Michalek AJ. Residual Strains in the Intervertebral Disc Annulus Fibrosus Suggest Complex Tissue Remodeling in Response to In-Vivo Loading, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 2017, 68, pp232-238.
- Zaino NL, Hedgeland MJ, Ciani MJ, Clark AM, Kuxhaus L, Michalek AJ. White-Tailed Deer as an Ex-Vivo Knee Model: Joint Morphometry and ACL Rupture Strength, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2017, 45(4), pp1093-1100.