Associate Head of Undergraduate Studies
PhD - Mechanical Engineering
BEng (Honours) - Mechanical Engineering and Minor in Aeronautical Engineering
Preferred method of communication
Please contact me by email
Research and teaching
- Regenerative medicine
Research aims to understand and quantify the mechanobiology transduction pathways which drive biological adaptation to mechanical stimulus in musculoskeletal tissues such as intervertebral disc, tendon, bone and cartilage, as well as in 3D stem cell seeded constructs for tissue engineering. In collaboration with biologists, engineers and surgeons, this research aims to provide a mechanistic understanding of mechanobiological factors in orthopaedic disorders, and provide the basic knowledge needed for the development of novel approaches to quantitative diagnostics and tissue engineered treatments.
Imaging technologies of confocal and multi-photon microscopy, laser tweezers/scissors, optical coherence tomography, and ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging are used in combination with uniquely designed multiscale loading devices, computational modeling and molecular biology for investigations across multiple scales in various musculoskeletal tissues.
Dr. Neil Duncan's background is in mechanical engineering with a specific interest and expertise in multiscale mechanics, mechanobiology, imaging and tissue engineering of musculoskeletal tissues. He holds a BEng (H) in mechanical engineering, with a minor in aeronautical engineering, and a PhD in mechanical engineering, both from McGill. He also received training as a research associate/post-doctoral fellow in bioengineering in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. Contributions to bioengineering research have been made in a number of areas of the spine, knee and various tissues, related to intervertebral disc degeneration, scoliosis, low back pain and osteoarthritis.
His research has been funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS), Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF), Canada Research Chairs (CRC), Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Whitaker Foundation.
Hazenbiller, O., Nasr, S., Krawetz, R.J. and Duncan, N.A. (2018) Effect of mechanical strain on the pluripotency of murine embryonic stem cells seeded in a collagen-I scaffold. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 36: 799-807.
Damaraju S., Matyas, J.R., Rancourt, D.E. and Duncan, N.A. (2015) The role of gap junctions and mechanical loading on mineral formation in a collagen-I scaffold seeded with osteoprogenitor cells. Tissue Engineering Part A 21: 1720-1732.
Desrochers, J. and Duncan, N.A. (2010) Strain transfer in the annulus fibrosus under applied flexion. Journal of Biomechanics 43: 2141-2148.
Villemure, I., Cloutier, L., Matyas, J.R. and Duncan, N.A. (2007) Non-uniform strain distribution within rat cartilaginous growth plate under uniaxial compression. Journal of Biomechanics 40: 149-56.
Hunter, C. J., Matyas, J. R., & Duncan, N. A. (2004). Cytomorphology of notochordal and chondrocytic cells from the nucleus pulposus: A species comparison. Journal of Anatomy, 205(5), 357-362.
Bruehlmann, S.B., Matyas, J.R. and Duncan, N.A. (2004) ISSLS Prize Winner: Collagen fibril sliding governs cell mechanics in the annulus fibrosus: an in situ confocal microscopy study of bovine discs. Spine 29: 2612-2620.
Bruehlmann, S.B., Rattner, J.B., Matyas, J.R. and Duncan, N.A. (2002) Regional variations in the cellular matrix of the annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc. Journal of Anatomy 201: 159-171.
Lotz, J.C., Colliou, O.K., Chin, J.R., Duncan, N.A. and Liebenberg, E. (1998) Compression-induced degeneration of the intervertebral disc: an in vivo mouse model and finite element study. Spine 23: 2493-2506.
FIOR Award, Fellow of International Orthopaedic Research, 2018
Simpleware Prize, Research in Imaging and Visualization, CMBBE, 2015
Discovery Accelerator Supplement, NSERC, 2010-13
ISSLS Prize, Best Research Paper Spine Bioengineering, 2004
Canada Research Chair in Orthopaedic Bioengineering (Tier II, NSERC), 2002-2012
Volvo Award, Best Research Paper Spine Biomechanics, 1998
NSERC Doctoral Prize, 1997