Basic Biomechanics and Bioimaging

Dr. Nazarian's work mainly focuses on basic biomechanics and bioimaging of normal and pathologic cancellous and cortical bone, with emphasis on fracture prediction resultant from local and systemic skeletal pathologies. 

He has been working on the CT-based Structural Rigidity Analysis (CTRA) methodology for the past 8 years along with Dr. Brian Snyder. His efforts on this project include completely redesigning the program for ease of use, increased functionality and high throughput; conducting a multi-center study of breast cancer patients to establish thresholds for prediction; generating a normative database for axial and appendicular bones; and conducting a multi-center study, sponsored by the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, to compare the efficacy of this method to current clinical guidelines. He has conducted a number of animal studies investigating the efficacy of this technique to assess reduction in bone strength in animals with local and systemic skeletal defects. 

From an imaging perspective, as part of his K99/R00 award he is working on a combined liquid and solid state MR imaging method to differentiate different skeletal pathologies based on changes in bone mineral, matrix and structural components.

Shoulder Biomechanics

Shoulder BiomechanicsDr. Nazarian, in collaboration with Drs. Arun Ramappa and Joseph DeAngelis, is exploring the hypothesis that scapulothoracic motion (scapular motion with respect to the thorax) significantly affects superior labral strain. As a result, he and his colleagues propose that superior labral strain is different in an intact specimen, a replicated superior labral tear from anterior to posterior (SLAP) lesion and a repaired SLAP lesion in cadaver shoulders. As part of this Major League Baseball funded project, he has developed unique biomechanical methods to accurately estimate shoulder joint kinematics and is investigating the effects of scapulothoracic positioning on superior labral strain during simulated throwing using in an intact, replicated SLAP lesion, and repaired cadaveric shoulder model.

This research was featured in the Boston Globe in April 2011. Read the article »