Virginia Ferguson
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering

ME 210

MSE Areas: Materials characterization, nanomechanics, nanoindentation, scanning electron microscopy, standardization of materials measurements, structure-function relationships, tissue mechanics, biological tissue chemistry, bone, cartilage, materials for tissue engineering, properties of tissues in pregnancy.

My research interests focus on bringing together mechanical behavior of materials with Biology and Physics to better understand structureTfunction relationships in tissues at multiple length scales. My training lies predominantly in relating the physical behavior of hard tissues (e.g., bone, teeth and articular calcified cartilage) with the underlying biology and/or physiology. My lab currently focuses on studying bone property changes with metabolic disease, aging and disuse, and loading; load transition across soft-hard tissue interfaces where we draw inspiration from biological material structures to form novel engineered materials for tissue engineering applications and the study of structure-function relationships in pathophysiological conditions during pregnancy that may lead to pre-term birth with the goal of improving pregnancy outcomes.

Selected Publications and Accomplishments

Campbell SE, Geiss R, Ferguson VL, Creation of lithium-rubidium borosilicate glass standards for quantitative backscatter electron imaging of mineralized tissues. Journal of Materials Research. Accepted, 2012.

Ferguson VL. Deformation partitioning provides insight into elastic, plastic, and viscous contributions to bone material behavior. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. 2:364-374; 2009.

Oyen ML, Ferguson VL, Bembey AK, Bushby AJ, Boyde, A. Composite bounds on the elastic modulus of bone. Journal of Biomechanics. 41(11):2585-8, 2008.