Cartilage Research Laboratory

 Li Yue, PhD harvests cartilage from knee specimen in order to isolate chondrocytes.

The Cartilage Research Laboratory is located in the Department of Orthopaedics at Rhode Island Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. The research in our laboratory involves basic science and translational work in articular cartilage and meniscus injuries and repair techniques. Our mission is to study the biological factors and pathways of cartilage and meniscus degeneration and healing to develop the means to improve treatment for injuries and reconstruction options.


The meniscus provides cushioning in the knee joint.

The knee joint has a medial and lateral menisci, which are semi-circular discs of fibrocartilage. The menisci  provide shock absorption, even force distribution, and aid in joint stabilization. The meniscus is one of the most commonly injured areas of the knee, and healing can be challenging given its poor vascularization.


Knee medial femoral condyle defect treated with osteochondral allograft transplantation.

Articular cartilage provides a smooth surface area for joint motion with minimal friction, and can be damaged by a traumatic injury, or chronic excessive loads. Cartilage lesions are treated with a myriad of surgical options, including cartilage transplantation. Our lab has focused our studies on cartilage repair techniques in hopes of improving the grafts and procedures for patients. 


The Cartilage Research Laboratory is a new addition to the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) for Skeletal Health and Repair funded by NIH. The COBRE enables biologists, chemists, materials scientists, engineers, and clinicians to conduct multidisciplinary research side-by-side, helping us to better understand cartilage and joint health mechanisms and develop strategies for the prevention and treatment of skeletal joint diseases.

Dr. Owens and Dr. Yue 
review results.
Photo Credit: Lifespan Corporation

Dr. Owens in the
Cartilage Research Laboratory.
Photo Credit: Lifespan Corporation