I am interested in the relationship between the biochemical constituents of cartilage and the material properties. There is a great deal of variation in cartilage composition, and this variation is underappreciated because of the research bias towards mammalian models.
We are looking at the components that make up elasmobranch cartilage such as collagen, proteoglycan, and mineral. Our working hypothesis is that the increased strength and stiffness of trabecular cartilage relative to normal elasmobranch cartilage is reflected in different biochemical composition. We hope that these differences will lead us to a better understanding of the relationship between biomolocules and material properties.