Functional Assessment

The Functional Assessment Core brings together animal and organ level phenotyping resources. This core will provide access to state of the art whole animal phenotyping, muscle function and mechanical testing from fibers to whole muscles in situ, tendon and ligament mechanical testing, whole bone mechanical testing, and tissue-level bone mechanical testing. This core will enable center investigators to establish the functional context of animal models to targeted genetic or pharmacological perturbations.

Contact: Contact Dan Michele, PhD (whole animal testing, micro-surgery models), Ken Kozloff, PhD (bone testing, machining, fracture healing/surgical models), Ellen Arruda, PhD (tendon testing), or Susan Brooks, PhD (muscle mechanics) when beginning a project. Contact either Dr. Michele or Dr. Kozloff if you are uncertain about who to contact. They will provide guidance on experimental design and the appropriate Faculty and/or Core expert to contact next.

Existing Core Websites:

Physiology Phenotyping Core:

Core Leadership

Services Offered and Prices

The supported services will use the NIH P30 support to offset the staffing costs for the services below. The maximum amount of NIH P30 support available to each investigator may be capped, and therefore the number of recharged procedures that will be available at the discounted rate may be limited. Please contact the appropriate faculty expert for an estimate of the amount of P30 discount that you will be able to apply to your study. “Fees” include supplies and equipment maintenance and are charged either per sample, per experiment, or per hour as indicated. All rates are rounded to the nearest dollar.


Contact: Daniel Michele, PhD (


Contact: Daniel Michele, PhD (



Susan Brooks, PhD (

Dennis Claflin, PhD (


Contact: Ellen Arruda, PhD (

Support for the mechanical testing of soft tissues like tendon, ligament, and cartilage can be conducted by contacting Dr. Arruda directly.

Dr. Arruda’s laboratory includes a three split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) apparatus built in-house for high strain rate compression and tension testing of soft tissues including cartilage, ligament and tendon. Testing combined with digital image correlation has been used recently to examine the biomechanics of native anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), native patellar tendon (PT), and two types of ACL replacement grafts: patellar tendon grafts (PTG) and tissue engineered bone-ligament-bone (BLB) grafts. Dr.Arruda’s laboratory also designed and built a novel custom device for testing compliant materials consisting of a high-speed electric linear actuator (SMAC, Carlsbad, CA; positional accuracy: ± 0.001 mm, max speed: 1000 mm/s), a dynamic force sensor (Dytran Instruments, Chatsworth, CA), a high-speed video camera (Photron USA, San Diego, CA; max frame rate of 5,400 frames per second) for digital image correlation analysis, a transparent water bath, and a PC-based data acquisition system.


Contact: Ken Kozloff, PhD (

In year 1, we will providing the following bone mechanical testing services for free:

Whole femur bending tests (3 point, 4 point)

Vertebral body compression tests

Torsion tests

Fluorescence-guided nanoindentation

Custom mechanical testing


Contact: Ken Kozloff, PhD (

The machine shop and custom fabrication facility within the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories provides custom machining services. These services will be free to P30 core members. However, P30 members are expected to purchase all materials and any specialized machining/fabrication tools.


Contact: Ken Kozloff, PhD (

A fully operational small animal surgical suite is housed within the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories and located within the BSRB animal housing unit. The role of this facility will be to provide services to P30 members seeking metabolic challenge to the skeleton, specifically in the form of bone repair. Please contact Dr. Kozloff for support of surgical models.

Referencing Core services in manuscripts

Use the following in manuscripts that utilize core services:

"Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P30 AR069620. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”