UC San Diego Materials Science and Engineering


Robert L. Sah

Robert Sah




Phone: 858-534-0821

Cartilage, synovial fluid, osteoarthritis, biomechanics and mechanobiology of joint materials and structures.

The Cartilage Tissue Engineering lab studies articular cartilage, synovial fluid, and synovial joints with the ultimate goal of improving the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of osteoarthritis. Studies of human joints, tissues, and fluids seek to delineate the natural sequence of degenerative events that occur in aging, after injury, and during the progression of osteoarthritis. Studies of tissue models examine the mechanisms by which mechanical and chemical stimuli modulate cartilage metabolism, and lead to tissue maintenance, growth, or deterioration. Studies of engineered tissues, targeting cartilage, bone, and the cartilage-bone interface, seek to develop treatments for damaged cartilage and also to understand growth and maturation processes. Studies of engineered fluid seek to understand the physiology of the lubricating nature of synovial joint fluid. Finally, translational studies seek to determine whether and how engineered materials can effectively treat damaged cartilage. The lab utilizes a variety of biochemical, cellular, molecular, histological, imaging and image processing methods.

Robert L. Sah is Professor of Bioengineering at UCSD and Professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received the B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and the Sc.D. in Medical Engineering from M.I.T., and the M.D. from Harvard. He joined UCSD Bioengineering in 1992 and was promoted to Professor in 2001. Dr. Sah has received a Young Investigator Award (National Science Foundation), a Hulda Irene Duggan Investigator Award (Arthritis Foundation), two Kappa Delta Awards (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons), and the Van C. Mow Medal (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), At UCSD, Dr. Sah has served as Vice Chair of Bioengineering, and he is currently Co-Director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine and a member of the Research Committee of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.