An NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site Program has been approved for 2016. Undergraduates interested in doing research at UCSD with a faculty member on the topic of "Engineered Materials for Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery" can apply at https://reumanager.com/biomaterials

The Cartilage Tissue Engineering Laboratory in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego was formed in July, 1992 by Prof. Robert Sah. Principal Investigators of the CTE Lab are Prof. William Bugbee (Orthopaedic Surgery), Prof. Deborah Watson (Head and Neck Surgery), as well as the director of the lab, Prof. Robert Sah. We are members of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine and also the UCSD Stein Institute for Research on Aging.
In the CTE Lab, we study the biological processes of cartilage
  • development & growth
  • aging
  • degeneration
  • repair, regeneration, & replacement

by examining the relationships between tissue

  • metabolism
  • composition
  • biomechanics
  • structure

with the ultimate goal of improving clinical

  • treatment
  • diagnosis
  • prevention.
Our studies are currently supported by grants from the following government agencies and foundations, including:


as well as contracts, grants, and gifts from a number of companies.

We collaborate with several groups at UCSD in the Department of Bioengineering within the Jacobs School of Engineering, as well as the Departments of OrthopaedicsRheumatology, and Radiology within the School of Medicine. We also enjoy active collaborations with experts outside of UCSD, including Prof. Steve Klisch at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. We welcome inquiries from interested individuals.

Individuals with interest in doing research in the lab can inquire about research opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE! Patients interested in clinical care are encouraged to contact the principal investigators who are practicing physicians.

For joint replacement & arthritis surgery or cartilage restoration & transplantation, please contact the clinical office of William Bugbee, MD at Scripps Clinic, or the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSD.

For facial plastic or facial reconstructive surgery, please contact Deborah Watson, MD, Co-director, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the UCSD Medical Center.

UCSD Medical Center also offers specialty services in clinical orthopaedics in the areas of sports medicinerehabilitation medicine and physical therapy.