Gerard A. Ateshian


220 S.W. Mudd
Mail Code 4703

Tel(212) 854-8602
Fax(212) 854-3304

Gerard Ateshian performs research in the field of soft tissue mechanics, with an emphasis on cartilage mechanics, lubrication, and tissue engineering, and the formulation of growth theories for biological tissues.  A major component of his research focuses on understanding and treating osteoarthritis.  In collaboration with Prof. Clark T. Hung at Columbia, he has translated his findings on cartilage mechanics to the field of functional cartilage tissue engineering, with the aim of developing biological tissue implants for osteoarthritic joints. Together with Dr. Jeffrey A. Weiss at the University of Utah, he has developed open-source computational tools that facilitate the modeling of tissue mechanics, transport, and growth processes (  With Dr. Melvin P. Rosenwasser at the Columbia University Medical Center, he has developed a novel clinical treatment modality for thumb osteoarthritis using bent osteochondral allografts.

Research Interests

Theoretical and experimental analysis of articular cartilage mechanics and lubrication, cartilage tissue engineering and bioreactor design, growth and remodeling of biological tissues, cell mechanics, mixture theory for biological tissues: theory, , experiments, and computational analysis

Ateshian is particularly interested in formulating continuum mechanics theories that accommodate the complexities encountered in living biological tissues and cells, including mass transport, osmotic effects, and reactive mechanics in solid mixtures, needed to describe tissue growth and remodeling. Ateshian has used and extended the framework of mixture theory to explicitly account for mass exchanges among reactants and products, incorporating evolving mass content as state variables in functions of state, such as internal energy, entropy, stress, and mass supplies. His theoretical work also addresses the equivalence between classical passive and active membrane transport theories in biophysics and the framework of reactive mixtures. This theoretical work has been extensively tested and validated against experiments conducted in his laboratory. Ateshian has proposed that many of the classical theories of continuum mechanics, such as viscoelasticity, damage mechanics, and thermoelasticity, may be reformulated in the context of reactive constrained solid mixtures to employ only observable state variables, instead of the more common approach that relies on hidden variables. This approach considerably facilitates the validation of theoretical models against experimental observations.

Ateshian received his BS (1986), MS (1987), MPhil (1990) and PhD (1991) degrees in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers.


  • Andrew Walz professor of mechanical engineering, 2013-
  • Chair, department of mechanical engineering, 2011-2014
  • Professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, Columbia University, 2002-
  • Vice-chair of biomedical engineering, Columbia University, 1999-2002
  • Associate professor of biomedical engineering, Columbia University, 1998–2002
  • Associate professor of mechanical engineering, Columbia University, 1996–2002
  • Assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Columbia University, 1991-1996


  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
  • Orthopedic Research Society (ORS)
  • Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI)
  • American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE)
  • U.S. National Committee on Biomechanics (USNCB)


  • H.R. Lissner Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2017
  • OARSI Basic Science Award, 2013, Osteoarthritis Research Society International
  • Columbia Engineering Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, 2012
  • Great Teacher Award, Society of Columbia Graduates, 2002
  • YC Fung Young Investigator Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1997


  • Mauck, R.L., Soltz, M.A., Wang, C.C., Wong, D.D., Chao, P.H., Valhmu, W.B., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2000. Functional tissue engineering of articular cartilage through dynamic loading of chondrocyte-seeded agarose gels. J Biomech Eng 122(3), 252-260 
  • Cohen, Z.A., McCarthy, D.M., Kwak, S.D., Legrand, P., Fogarasi, F., Ciaccio, E.J., and Ateshian, G.A., 1999. Knee cartilage topography, thickness, and contact areas from MRI: in-vitro calibration and in-vivo measurements. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 7(1), 95-109 
  • Soltz, M.A., and Ateshian, G.A., 1998. Experimental verification and theoretical prediction of cartilage interstitial fluid pressurization at an impermeable contact interface in confined compression. J Biomech 31(10), 927-934 
  • Ateshian, G.A., Lai, W.M., Zhu, W.B., and Mow, V.C., 1994. An asymptotic solution for the contact of two biphasic cartilage layers. J Biomech 27(11), 1347-1360 
  • Ateshian, G.A., Warden, W.H., Kim, J.J., Grelsamer, R.P., and Mow, V.C., 1997. Finite deformation biphasic material properties of bovine articular cartilage from confined compression experiments. J Biomech 30(11-12), 1157-1164 
  • Mauck, R.L., Nicoll, S.B., Seyhan, S.L., Ateshian, G.A., and Hung, C.T., 2003. Synergistic action of growth factors and dynamic loading for articular cartilage tissue engineering. Tissue Eng 9(4), 597-611 
  • Soltz, M.A., and Ateshian, G.A., 2000. A Conewise Linear Elasticity mixture model for the analysis of tension-compression nonlinearity in articular cartilage. J Biomech Eng 122(6), 576-586 PMCID: 2854000.
  • Ateshian, G.A., Soslowsky, L.J., and Mow, V.C., 1991. Quantitation of articular surface topography and cartilage thickness in knee joints using stereophotogrammetry. J Biomech 24(8), 761-776 
  • Mauck, R.L., Seyhan, S.L., Ateshian, G.A., and Hung, C.T., 2002. Influence of seeding density and dynamic deformational loading on the developing structure/function relationships of chondrocyte-seeded agarose hydrogels. Ann Biomed Eng 30(8), 1046-1056 
  • Maas, S.A., Ellis, B.J., Ateshian, G.A., and Weiss, J.A., 2012. FEBio: finite elements for biomechanics. J Biomech Eng 134(1), 011005 PMCID: 3705975.
  • Krishnan, R., Kopacz, M., and Ateshian, G.A., 2004. Experimental verification of the role of interstitial fluid pressurization in cartilage lubrication. J Orthop Res 22(3), 565-570 PMCID: 2842190.
  • Ateshian, G.A., 2009. The role of interstitial fluid pressurization in articular cartilage lubrication. J Biomech 42(9), 1163-1176 PMCID: 2758165.
  • Mauck, R.L., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2003. Modeling of neutral solute transport in a dynamically loaded porous permeable gel: implications for articular cartilage biosynthesis and tissue engineering. J Biomech Eng 125(5), 602-614 PMCID: 2854001.
  • Ateshian, G.A., and Wang, H., 1995. A theoretical solution for the frictionless rolling contact of cylindrical biphasic articular cartilage layers. J Biomech 28(11), 1341-1355 
  • Chahine, N.O., Chen, F.H., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2005. Direct measurement of osmotic pressure of glycosaminoglycan solutions by membrane osmometry at room temperature. Biophys J 89(3), 1543-1550 PMCID: 1366659.
  • Chahine, N.O., Wang, C.C., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2004. Anisotropic strain-dependent material properties of bovine articular cartilage in the transitional range from tension to compression. J Biomech 37(8), 1251-1261 PMCID: 2819725.
  • Caligaris, M., and Ateshian, G.A., 2008. Effects of sustained interstitial fluid pressurization under migrating contact area, and boundary lubrication by synovial fluid, on cartilage friction. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 16(10), 1220-1227 PMCID: 2622427.
  • Ateshian, G.A., Rajan, V., Chahine, N.O., Canal, C.E., and Hung, C.T., 2009. Modeling the matrix of articular cartilage using a continuous fiber angular distribution predicts many observed phenomena. J Biomech Eng 131(6), 061003 PMCID: 2842192.
  • Ateshian, G.A., Maas, S., and Weiss, J.A., 2010. Finite element algorithm for frictionless contact of porous permeable media under finite deformation and sliding. J Biomech Eng 132(6), 061006 PMCID: 2953263.
  • Ateshian, G.A., and Ricken, T., 2010. Multigenerational interstitial growth of biological tissues. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 9(6), 689-702 PMCID: 2970697.
  • Ateshian, G.A., Maas, S., and Weiss, J.A., 2013. Multiphasic finite element framework for modeling hydrated mixtures with multiple neutral and charged solutes. J Biomech Eng 135(11), 111001 PMCID: 3792408.
  • Ateshian, G.A., Morrison, B., 3rd, Holmes, J.W., and Hung, C.T., 2012. Mechanics of Cell Growth. Mech Res Commun 42, 118-125 PMCID: 3418607.
  • Albro, M.B., Cigan, A.D., Nims, R.J., Yeroushalmi, K.J., Oungoulian, S.R., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2012. Shearing of synovial fluid activates latent TGF-beta. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 20(11), 1374-1382 PMCID: 3448789.
  • Albro, M.B., Li, R., Banerjee, R.E., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2010. Validation of theoretical framework explaining active solute uptake in dynamically loaded porous media. J Biomech 43(12), 2267-2273 PMCID: 2993250.
  • Albro, M.B., Nims, R.J., Cigan, A.D., Yeroushalmi, K.J., Alliston, T., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2013. Accumulation of exogenous activated TGF-beta in the superficial zone of articular cartilage. Biophys J 104(8), 1794-1804 PMCID: 3627867.
  • Albro, M.B., Petersen, L.E., Li, R., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2009. Influence of the partitioning of osmolytes by the cytoplasm on the passive response of cells to osmotic loading. Biophys J 97(11), 2886-2893 PMCID: 2784563.
  • Ateshian, G.A., Nims, R.J., Maas, S., and Weiss, J.A., 2014. Computational modeling of chemical reactions and interstitial growth and remodeling involving charged solutes and solid-bound molecules. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 13(5), 1105-1120 PMCID: PMC4141041.
  • Cigan, A.D., Durney, K.M., Nims, R.J., Vunjak-Novakovic, G., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2016. Nutrient Channels Aid the Growth of Articular Surface-Sized Engineered Cartilage Constructs. Tissue Eng Part A 22(17-18), 1063-1074 PMCID: PMC5312614.
  • Cigan, A.D., Nims, R.J., Albro, M.B., Vunjak-Novakovic, G., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2014. Nutrient channels and stirring enhanced the composition and stiffness of large cartilage constructs. J Biomech 47(16), 3847-3854 PMCID: PMC4261053.
  • Nims, R.J., Cigan, A.D., Durney, K.M., Jones, B.K., O'Neill, J.D., Law, W.A., Vunjak-Novakovic, G., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2017. Constrained Cage Culture Improves Engineered Cartilage Functional Properties by Enhancing Collagen Network Stability. Tissue Eng Part A
  • Nims, R.J., Durney, K.M., Cigan, A.D., Dusseaux, A., Hung, C.T., and Ateshian, G.A., 2016. Continuum theory of fibrous tissue damage mechanics using bond kinetics: application to cartilage tissue engineering. Interface Focus 6(1), 20150063 PMCID: PMC4686240.
  • Nims, R.J., and Ateshian, G.A., 2017. Reactive Constrained Mixtures for Modeling the Solid Matrix of Biological Tissues. Journal of Elasticity in press, 1-37