Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Dawn M. Elliott Ph.D.

Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Associate Dean for Graduate and Post-Graduate Education


STAR Campus
540 S. College Avenue, Ste 201K
Newark, DE 19713
E: delliott@udel.edu

Lab Website


  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, 1999, Duke University
  • M.S. Engineering Mechanics, 1995, University of Cincinnati
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1988, University of Michigan


  • Biomechanics and Structure-Function of fibrous tissues
  • Intervertebral disc function, degeneration, and low back pain
  • Tendon function, damage, and tendinopathy
  • Meniscus function, injury, and repair


Dr. Elliott ‘s research program investigates structure-function relationships in load-bearing fiber-reinforced tissues and joints, and the associated changes that occur during development, with degeneration and injury, and following therapeutic intervention.  Dr. Elliott focuses on determining mechanical factors that contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of intervertebral disc degeneration, tendinopathy, and meniscus injury and repair.  Throughout, her approach is to develop and apply innovative technologies, including novel mechanical tests, rigorous mathematical models, and state-of-the-art imaging and analyses.


See complete list of published work

Bansal S, Miller LM, Patel JM, Meadows KD, Eby MR, Saleh KS, Martin AR, Stoeckl BD, Hast MW, Elliott DM, Zgonis MH, Mauck RL. Transection of the medial meniscus anterior horn results in cartilage degeneration and meniscus remodeling in a large animal model. J Orthop Res. 2020 Apr 14. doi: 10.1002/jor.24694. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32285971

Safa BN, Peloquin JM, Natriello JR, Caplan JL, Elliott DM. Helical fibrillar microstructure of tendon using serial block-face scanning electron microscopy and a mechanical model for interfibrillar load transfer.  J R Soc Interface 2019 Nov 29;16(160):20190547. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2019.0547

Bonnevie ED, Gullbrand SE, Ashinsky BG, Tsinman TK, Elliott DM, Chao PG, Smith HE, Mauck RL. Aberrant mechanosensing in injured intervertebral discs as a result of boundary constraint disruption and residual-strain loss, Nat Biomed Eng. 2019 Oct 14. doi: 10.1038/s41551-019-0458-4.

DeLucca JF, Amin D, Peloquin JM, Vresilovic EJ, Costi JJ, Elliott DM, Off-axis response due to mechanical coupling across all six degrees of freedom in the human disc. JOR Spine. 2019 Mar 22;2(1):e1047. doi: 10.1002/jsp2.1047.

Claeson AA, Vresilovic EJ, Showalter BL, Wright AC, Gee JC, Malhotra NR, Elliott DM. Human Disc Nucleotomy Alters Annulus Fibrosus Mechanics at Both Reference and Compressed Loads, J Biomech Eng 2019 doi: 10.1115/1.4043874

Safa B, Lee A, Santare MH, Elliott DMEvaluating Plastic Deformation and Damage as Potential Mechanisms for Tendon Inelasticity using a Reactive Modeling Framework. J Biomech Eng. 2019 Apr 20. doi: 10.1115/1.4043520

Lee AH, Elliott DMMulti-scale Loading and Damage Mechanisms of Plantaris and Rat Tail Tendons. J Orthop Res. 2019 Apr 12. doi: 10.1002/jor.24309

Peloquin JM, Santare MH, Elliott DM. Short cracks in knee meniscus tissue cause strain concentrations, but do not reduce ultimate stress, in single-cycle uniaxial tension. R Soc Open Sci. 2018 Nov 14;5(11):181166. doi: 10.1098/rsos.181166

Lee AH, Elliott DM. Comparative multi-scale hierarchical structure of the tail, plantaris, and Achilles tendons in the rat. J Anat. 2019 Feb;234(2):252-262. doi: 10.1111/joa.12913.