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photo of Peter Torzilli, PhD

Peter Torzilli, PhD



Biomechanics, Mechanobiology, Molecular Engineering, Enzyme Mechanokinetics and Functional Tissue Engineering of the Musculoskeletal System

Major areas of research are in the study of joint biomechanics; articular cartilage function and mechanobiology; enzyme mechanokinetics of collagen catalysis; engineering of biocompatible materials for repair and replacement of damaged soft tissues; design of novel approaches at the molecular level to enhance soft tissue repair and function; and studying mechanisms for cell proliferation, invasion and migration through their extracellular matrix. 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 and disease (anabolic vs catabolic); how cellular response effects the matrix components (composition and structure); how these changes influence the tissue's physical performance (biomechanical properties); how to repair and restructure the tissue's damaged microstructure (tissue engineering) through normal biological pathways (cellular engineering) and synthetic pathways (molecular engineering); how natural and synthetic materials can be combined to produce biocompatible tissue constructs (biomaterials); how cells and biologically compatible biomaterials can be combined to produce a viable replacement for damaged tissues (cell-matrix engineering); and the study of common microenvironment inflammatory mechano-immuno-biological mechanisms of cellular cleavage and fragmentation of their pericellular and extracellular matrix molecules in osteoarthritis and tumor metastasis.


Clinical Trials




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



Publications by

Selected Publications

Schatti, O.R., Colombo, V., Torzilli, P.A., Gallo, L.M. (2018) Articular cartilage response to a sliding load using two different-sized spherical indenters. Biorheology, 54:109-126.

Khoshgoftar,M., Torzilli, P.A. and Maher, S.A. (2018)  Influence of the Pericellular and Extracellular Matrix Structural Properties on Chondrocyte Mechanics Influence of the Pericellular and Extracellular Matrix Structural Properties on Chondrocyte Mechanics, Journal of Orthopaedics Research, 36:721-729.

Grenier, S., Gittens, J., Donnelly, P. and Torzilli, P.A. (2015) Resurfacing Articular Cartilage to Regain Functional Properties.  Journal of Biomechanics, 48:122–129. 

Torzilli, P.A., Bourne, J.W., Vincent, C.T. and Cigler, T. (2012) A New Paradigm for Mechanobiological Mechanisms in Tumor Metastasis. Seminars in Cancer Biology, 22:385-395.

Bourne, J.W. and Torzilli, P.A. (2011) Molecular simulations predict novel collagen conformations during cross-link loading.  Matrix Biology, 30(5-6):356-360.

Torzilli, P.A., Bhargava, M., Park, S. and Chen, C-T. (2010)  Mechanical Load Inhibits IL-1 Induced Matrix Degradation in Articular Cartilage.  Osteoarthritis & Cartilage, 18:97-105.

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.

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.

For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Research staff at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however, HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists Research staff collaborations with outside companies if the Research staff member received any payment during the prior year or expects to receive any payment in the next year. The disclosures are based on information provided by the Research staff and other sources and are updated regularly. Current ownership interests and leadership positions are also listed. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Torzilli as of May 28, 2020.

  • Agelity Biomechanics – Royalties

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS Research staff with industry on this website, HSS and its Research staff make this information available to patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit payment of royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Feel free to ask the Research staff member about their relationship(s).