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Frederick H. Silver , Ph.D.
Present Title:
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Office Address:
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
675 Hoes Lane, R204
Piscataway, New Jersey 08854



Dr. Frederick H. Silver is Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. He did his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering at M.I.T. with Dr. Ioannis Yannas, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Developmental Medicine at Mass General Hospital with Dr. Robert L. Trelstad in Boston Massachusetts. He has taught biomedical engineers and physicians at Mass General Hospital, Boston University, Rutgers University and University of Minnesota over the last 40 years. His research interests include connective tissue disorders, collagen self-assembly, tissue mechanical properties, pathobiology of implants, mechanobiology and non-invasive assessment of disease processes. He has published over 170 research papers and book chapters and is co-inventor on over 20 patents.

Description of Research Expertise:
Biomaterials, Biomechanics, Mechanotransduction and Medical Devices
Extracellular matrix (ECM) is found in both vertebrates and invertebrates and forms the structural scaffold of all tissues and organs. The components of ECM include collagen fibers, proteoglycans, elastic fibers and cells. My laboratory is interested in understanding how these components are assembled into multifunctional tissues that allow mammals to locomote, heal when wounded and store energy through mechanotransduction. Our studies focus on the relationship between structure and properties of ECMs and the use of tissue engineered ECMs as implants. We are also interested in changes in mechanotransduction with age that may lead to impaired healing and disease.

Undergraduate Education:
Northeastern University
Boston, MA
B.S. Chemical Engineering

Graduate Education:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Ph.D., Polymer Science & Engineering
Thesis: Blood Compatibility of Collagen-Glycosaminoglycan Composites

Postdoctoral Training:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA
Developmental Medicine

Selected Publications:

  • Landis, W.J., and Silver, F.H. 2009. Mineral deposition in the extracellular matrices of
    vertebrate tissues: identification of possible apatite nucleation sites on type I collagen. Cells Tissues Organs. 2009;189(1-4):20-4.
  • Seehra, G.P., and Silver, F.H. 2006. Viscoelastic properties of acid- and alkaline-treated
    human dermis: a correlation between total surface charge and elastic modulus. Skin Res Technol. 2006 Aug;12(3):190-8.
  • Freeman, J.W., and Silver, F.H. 2005. The effects of prestrain and collagen fibril alignment
    on in vitro mineralization of self-assembled collagen fibers. Connect Tissue Res. 2005;46(2):107-15.
  • Silver, F.H., Bradica, G., and Tria, A. 2004. Do changes in the mechanical properties of
    articular cartilage promote catabolic destruction of cartilage and osteoarthritis? Matrix Biol. Nov;23(7):467-76.
  • Freeman, J.W., and Silver, F.H. 2004. Analysis of mineral deposition in turkey tendons and
    self-assembled collagen fibers using mechanical techniques. Connect Tissue Res. 45(3):131-41.
  • Freeman, J.W., and Silver, F.H. 2004. Elastic energy storage in unmineralized and mineralized
    extracellular matrices (ECMs): a comparison between molecular modeling and experimental measurements. J. Theor Biol. Aug 7;229(3):371-81.
  • Silver, F.H., and Siperko, L.M. 2003. Mechanosensing and mechanochemical transduction: how is mechanical energy sensed and converted into chemical energy in an extracellular matrix? Crit Rev Biomed Eng. 31(4):255-331.
  • Silver, F.H., and Bradica, G. 2002. Mechanobiology of cartilage: how do internal and external stresses affect mechanochemical transduction and elastic energy storage? Biomech Model Mechanobiol. Dec;1(3):219-38.
  • Silver, F.H., DeVore, D., and Siperko, L.M. 2003. Invited Review: Role of mechanophysiology in aging of ECM: effects of changes in mechanochemical transduction. J Appl Physiol. Nov;95(5):2134-41.
  • Silver, F.H., Freeman, J.W., and Seehra GP. 2003. Collagen self-assembly and the development of tendon mechanical properties. J Biomech. 36(10):1529-53. PubMed PMID: 14499302.
  • Silver, F.H., Snowhill, P.B., and Foran, D.J. 2003. Mechanical behavior of vessel wall: a comparative study of aorta, vena cava, and carotid artery. Ann Biomed Eng. Jul-Aug;31(7):793-803. PubMed PMID: 12971612.
  • Silver, F.H., Ebrahimi, A., and Snowhill, P.B. 2002. Viscoelastic properties of self-assembled type I collagen fibers: molecular basis of elastic and viscous behaviors. Connect Tissue Res. 43(4):569-80.
  • Silver, F.H., Siperko, L.M., and Seehra, G.P. 2003. Mechanobiology of force transduction in dermal tissue. Skin Res Technol. Feb;9(1):3-23.
  • Landis, W.J., and Silver, F.H. 2002. The structure and function of normally mineralizing avian tendons. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. Dec;133(4):1135-57.
  • Silver, F.H., Horvath, I., and Foran DJ. 2002. Mechanical implications of the domain structure of fiber-forming collagens: comparison of the molecular and fibrillar flexibilities of the alpha1-chains found in types I-III collagen. J Theor Biol. May 21;216(2):243-54.
  • Silver, F.H., Bradica, G., and Tria, A. 2001. Viscoelastic behavior of osteoarthritic cartilage. Connect Tissue Res. 2001;42(3):223-33.
  • Silver, F.H., Bradica, G., and Tria, A. 2002. Elastic energy storage in human articular cartilage: estimation of the elastic modulus for type II collagen and changes associated with osteoarthritis. Matrix Biol. 2002 Mar;21(2):129-37.
  • Silver, F.H., Bradica, G., and Tria A. 2001. Relationship among biomechanical, biochemical, and cellular changes associated with osteoarthritis. Crit Rev Biomed Eng. 29(4):373-91.
  • Silver, F.H., Horvath, I., and Foran, D.J. 2001. Viscoelasticity of the vessel wall: the role of collagen and elastic fibers. Crit Rev Biomed Eng. 29(3):279-301.
  • Silver, F.H., Christiansen, D., Snowhill, P.B., Chen, Y., and Landis WJ. 2000. The role of mineral in the storage of elastic energy in turkey tendons. Biomacromolecules. Summer;1(2):180-5.