Glen Niebur

Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
365A Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering
Notre Dame, IN 46556
+1 574-631-3327

Research Interests

Professor Niebur's research is focused on bone health, particularly the changes in mechanical properties associated with diseases like osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes. The lab's overarching goal is to understand how mechanics and biology intersect to control the maintenance of normal bone strength. Their current focus is on how the interaction of mechanical forces and deformations in bone during activities of daily living can alter the signaling molecules produced by cells in the bone and marrow, and how they are translated into formation or removal of bone tissue at the microscopic scale. Professor Niebur's group uses bioreactor culture systems to directly apply mechanical stimulation to live bone samples obtained from both animals and humans. Medical imaging methods, such as computed tomography (CT) are used to image and quantify the detailed structure of the bone samples and to create computational models that can be applied to assess the mechanical properties and loads at the micron scale. These experiments are complemented by cell culture experiments on two-dimensional surfaces and in three-dimensional gels.

Professor Niebur is also director of Notre Dame's interdisciplinary Bioengineering PhD program.