Peter Torzilli, PhD


Peter Torzilli, PhD

HSS Research Institute
515 East 71st Street
New York, NY 10021

Tel: (212) 606-1087

HSS Research Institute
515 East 71st Street
New York, NY 10021

Tel: (212) 606-1087

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Research Description

Mechanobiology, Molecular Engineering, Enzyme Mechanokinetics and Tissue Engineering of Musculoskeletal Soft Tissues

Major areas of research are in the study of cell and tissue biology, function and biomechanics of articular cartilage in health and disease; the enzyme mechanokinetics of collagen catalysis; the engineering of biocompatible materials for repair and replacement of damaged tissues; and the design of novel approaches at the molecular level to enhance soft tissue repair and function. Basic and applied research is performed at the molecular, cellular, tissue and whole joint levels. Of particular interest are questions concerning how cells respond to injury or disease (metabolism); how cellular response effects the matrix components (composition and arrangement); how these changes influence the tissue's physical performance (biomechanical properties); how we can repair and restructure the tissue's damaged microstructure (termed tissue engineering) through normal biological pathways (cellular engineering) or synthetic pathways (molecular engineering); how natural and synthetic materials can be combined to produce biocompatible tissue constructs (biomaterials); how genetically engineered cells (gene therapy) can be used to repair damaged tissues; and how cells and biologically compatible biomaterials can be combined to produce a viable replacement for damaged tissues.


Clinical Trials

Selected Publications

Lucchinetti, E., Adams, C.S., Horton Jr., W.E. and Torzilli, P.A.(2002) Cartilage Viability After Repetitive Loading. A Preliminary Report. Osteoarthritis & Cartilage, 10:71-81.

Chen, C-T, Bhargava, M.., Lin, P. and Torzilli, P.A.. (2003) Time, Stress, and Location Dependent Chondrocyte Death and Collagen Damage in Cyclically Loaded Articular Cartilage. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 21:888B898.

Milentijevic, D., Helfet, D.L .and Torzilli, P.A. (2003) Influence of Stress Magnitude on Water Loss and Chondrocyte Viability in Impacted Articular Cartilage. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 125:594-601.

Lucchinetti, E., Bhargava, M.M. and Torzilli, P.A. (2004) The Effect of Mechanical Load on the Expression of the Integrin Subunits α5 and β1 in Chondrocytes from Mature and Immature Cartilage Explants. Cell and Tissue Research, 315:385-391.

Milentijevic, D. and Torzilli, P.A. (2005) Influence of Stress Rate on Water Loss, Matrix Deformation and Chondrocyte Viability in Impacted Articular Cartilage. Journal of Biomechanics, 38:493-502.

Levin, A.S., Chen, C-T. and Torzilli, P.A. (2005) Effect of Tissue Maturity on Cell Viability in Mechanically Loaded Articular Cartilage. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 13:488-496.

Torzilli, P.A., Deng, X-H. and Ramcharan, M. (2006) Effect of Compressive Strain on Cell Viability in Statically Loaded Articular Cartilage. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 5:123-132.

Maher, S. A., Doty, S. B., Torzilli, P. A., Thornton, S., Lowman, A. M., Thomas, J. D., Warren, R., Wright, T. M., and Myers, E. (2007) Nondegradable hydrogels for the treatment of focal cartilage defects. J Biomedical Materials Research A, 83:145-155.

Wyatt, K. E-K., Bourne, J.W. and Torzilli, P.A. (2009) Deformation-Dependent Enzyme Mechanokinetic Cleavage of Type I Collagen. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 131: 051004-1-9.

For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.


Senior Scientist and Director, Laboratory for Soft Tissue Research, Research Division, Hospital for Special Surgery

Professor of Applied Biomechanics in Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Orthopaedics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Associate Professor, Graduate Faculty, Physiology, Biophysics, and System Biology Program, Weill Medical College of Cornell University 

Grant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Co-Director, Center for Biomedical Engineering, City College School of Engineering

Adjunct Professor, The Graduate School and University Center’s Ph.D. Program in Engineering, City College School of Engineering

Adjunct Full Professor, Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, Fordham University