Bone Healing Research Laboratory

Lab Directors

  • Douglas C. Fredericks
  • James V. Nepola, MD - Orthopaedic Traumatology



The Bone Healing Research Lab (BHRL) was established in 1991 by James V.  Nepola, MD, an orthopaedic traumatologist.  Initial investigations included projects in external fixation and electricity in orthopaedic medicine.  Over the years, the research efforts have evolved to include a broad spectrum of investigations in spine and trauma.



The lab maintains two research dedicated operating rooms with a complete complement of surgical capabilities and staff.  State of the art histology equipment allows for thin sectioning of musculoskeletal tissue and implants.  MTS-based biomechanics and motion analysis add to the lab’s ability to perform basic science investigations from the level of protein expression (real-time RT PCR) to radiographic outcomes (CT and MR imaging).  The lab’s focus is the translation of basic science to clinical practice in orthopaedic traumatology and spine surgery.

  • Complete surgical facility and staff
  • Biomechanics
      Motion analysis
      Wear testing
      Mechanical failure
  • Calcified Histology
      EXAKT Grinding system
  • RealTime RT PCR
  • Image analysis
  • Bacteriology
  • Radiology
      Dedicated research MRI
      Dedicated research CT
      Plain x-rays


Orthopaedic Trauma:

The lab continues to investigate novel approaches to the treatment of patients affected by orthopaedic trauma.  From percutaneous fixation to biologics, translational models currently in use in the BHRL continue to provide evidence for new and novel treatments that ultimately change patient care.Spine Surgery:  Spine related research has been one of the fastest growing areas in orthopaedic research in the past 10 years.  The use of biologics in spinal surgery has prompted the need for supportive, evidence-based investigations.  BHRL investigators have conducted research involving interbody and posterolateral fusions, treatment of the osteoporotic spine, total disc replacement and other motion preservation interventions.


Lab Contact Information:

Douglas C. Fredericks, Co-Director
Bone Healing Research Lab
Iowa Spine Research Lab
100 Oakdale Campus #259 ORB
Iowa City, IA 52242
319_335-4378 (fax)
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