Latrobe 102
Research Areas
Failure Mechanics
Tissue Engineering
Jill Middendorf, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is known for her research on the mechanics of soft biological tissues, especially tissues in the musculoskeletal system. She is the director of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering and Advanced Mechanics (M-TEAM) lab.

Her lab uses a combination of computational and experimental approaches to study the degeneration process of soft musculoskeletal tissues including cartilage, ligaments, and the intervertebral disc. This research advances understanding through a multiscale approach, which incorporates joint (patient) specific loading, tissue scale mechanics, tissue heterogeneity, and cellular responses. This approach allows her lab to identify why some people may be more susceptible to spine and joint degeneration and pain than others.

She is also interested in using tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies to repair damaged musculoskeletal tissues. Specifically, her lab examines how changes in the growth process of engineered tissues can improve their mechanical strength and stability. The lab is especially interested in instabilities (buckling) and failure analysis of these tissue engineered constructs.

Middendorf received her BS from Iowa State University in 2012 and her PhD in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 2019.