Welcome to Cartilage Bioengineering Lab

Our research focuses on the articular cartilage and osteoarthritis, in particular how cartilage and bone cells sense the mechanical forces generated from our physical activities and transfer the signals into orchestrated cellular activities. Using advanced mechanical methods, microscopy techniques, nanotechnology, proteomics and computational modeling, the mechano-chemical conversation between cartilage and bone at both molecular and cellular levels are investigated to understand the etiology of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and to find new therapeutic interventions aimed at the mitigation or treatment of these diseases.

Current Research Projects

  • Prevention of post-traumatic osteoarthritis;
  • Mechanotransduction and calcium signaling of chondrocytes;
  • Soft tissue biomechanics, i.e., theory, modeling and simulation of articular cartilage;
  • Bio-tribology of temporomandibular joint;
  • Joint modeling and rehabilitation for cartilage repair.



  • Dr. Lu is appointed as the 2016 Outstanding Junior Faculty Member for the College of Engineering. The appointment is for the period September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017. (2016/04/27)
  • Dr. Lu received the Osteo Science Foundation grant to study the cartilage repair in temporomandibular joint. (2015/09/01)
  • Yilu received the Best Poster Presentation Award in 2015 CBER Symposium. (2015/05/08)
  • Professors Higginson and Lu received an NSF REU grant to promote the undergraduate research at CBER. This REU site aims to improve the quantitative analysis capabilities of undergraduate students with emphasis on theory, modeling and simulation in molecular, cellular, tissue and joint-level biomechanics. (2015/05/02)
  • Yilu received the 2015 University of Delaware Dissertation Fellowship. Congratulations, Yilu! (2015/04/02)
  • Three undergraduate students in our lab won research awards. Brandon Zimmerman received the Mary and George Nowinski Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research; Kelsey Devlin received the W. Francis Lindell Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award; Hunter Bachman received the Mechanical Engineering Alumni Award as an Outstanding Sophomore. Congratulations, Brandon, Kelsey, and Hunter! (2014/05/01).
  • Miri received a Best Poster Presentation Award in 2014 CBER Symposium (2014/04/21).
  • Miri’s work was selected to the finalist of Student Paper Competition for PhD Level at the coming 2014 World Congress of Biomechanics (WCB) Conference in Boston. Brandon’s work on TMJ was selected to the finalist of the bachelor level competition. Total five abstracts from CBL were accepted (2014/04/07).
  • Dr. Lu received a pilot project grant from Delaware Center for Translational Research (DE-CTR, http://de-ctr.org/projects/29/view) to study rehabilitation following microfracture surgery (2014/03/19).
  • UDaily News: In the coming 2014 Bone Research Society meeting at Sheffield UK, Yilu’s work was selected to receive the ASBMR Young Investigator Award. Congratulations, Yilu! (2014/03/16).
  • Dr. Lu won the Rising Star Award for the 2014 BMES-CMBE Meeting (2013/10/31).
  • Yilu was selected to receive an ASBMR Muscle Symposium 2013 Young Investigator Travel Grant (2013/08/28).
  • Yilu's abstract was accepted by ASBMR 2013 Annual Meeting at Baltimore, and his abstract was selected to be judged in the President’s Poster Competition (2013/08/27).
  • Dr. Lu received the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) Junior Investigator Grant Award (2013/01/25). Udaily News
  • Dr. Lu received the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) Investigator-Initiated Research Award from the Department of Defense (2013/01/02). Udaily News
  • Dr. Lu received funding for a pilot project from COBRE III: Osteoarthritis: Prevention & Treatment (2012/11/15).
  • Dr. Lu received a grant from the University of Delaware Research Foundation (2012/05/08). Udaily News
  • Dr. Lu received a seed grant from the NASA EPSCoR/RID program (2012/02/28).


  • Brandon Zimmerman, a senior undergraduate research assistant in our lab, received a prestigious Presidential Fellowship from Columbia University to sponsor his PhD study in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. (2014/04/06).
  • Yilu was admitted to doctoral candidacy (2014/02/27).
  • Five abstracts from CBL are accepted by the 2014 ORS conference at New Orleans. Four undergraduate students (Brandon, Jie, Kelsey, Monideepa) and one high school student Anna achieved major authorship in the 2014 ORS Conference proceedings (2013/12/15).
  • Monideepa presented at UD's Summer Scholars Undergraduate Research Symposium in August, 2013.
  • CBL welcomes two Ph.D. students during 2013 fall session: Xingyu Chen, and Michael David (2013/08/27).
  • Miri and Yilu's abstracts were accepted by OARSI 2013 World Congress on Osteoarthritis. Lauren, an undergraduate student, is the co-author of an abstract (2013/01/31).
  • CBL welcomes three undergraduate students during 2013 winter session: Lauren Resutek, Mike McClintock, and Nicholas Pentimone (2013/01/03).
  • Six abstracts from CBL have been accepted by the 2013 ORS at San Antonio.
  • Three undergraduate students in our lab, Brandon, Enoch, and Anna, received the UD Summer Research Scholarship. In addition, all three students achieved authorship in the 2013 ORS Conference proceedings.
  • CBL welcomes Leonardo Ruggiero, a visiting Ph.D. student from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (2012/8/01).


  • Miri, Lucas and Yilu completed the 2012 Philly Half Marathon on 11/18/2012.
  • CBL members had a nice summer outing at Six Flags and a BBQ at Dr. Lu's house (2012/7/10).

Principal Investigator

X. Lucas Lu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Ph.D., Columbia University

B.S., Tsinghua University

Read more

UDaily News

  • Engineered cartilage: Grant to support tissue engineering for TMJ cartilage repair. (Read more)
  • Better bone health: NIH grant to support continuing research on exercise and bone quality. (Read more)
  • Research excellence: UD graduate student to receive ASBMR Young Investigator Award. (Read more)
  • Dr. Lu was presented with the Rising Star Award by the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). (Read more)
  • The Department of Defense (DOD) recently awarded Dr. Lu a $1.1 million research grant to study the effectiveness of zoledronic acid (ZA) in the treatment and prevention of PTOA. (Read more)
  • Dr. Lu and his Colleges will develop a unique bioreactor system to simulate micro-fracture surgery in the laboratory. (Read more)
  • Dr. Lu aims to develop a non-invasive mechanical technique for the early detection of osteoarthritis, the most common joint disorder. (Read more)
  • Our Lab

    • Cell culture
    • Have fun at Six Flag
    • We finished 2012 Philly Half Marathon