Photo of Alix C. Deymier, Ph.D.

Alix C. Deymier, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Academic Office Location:
Biomedical Engineering
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue, L7081
Farmington, CT 06030-1615
Phone: 860-679-8916
Email: deymier@uchc.edu
Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
B.S.University of ArizonaMaterials Science and Engineering
Ph.D.Northwestern UniversityElasto-Plastic Properties of Mineralized Biomaterials via Synchrotron High Energy X-ray Diffraction

Post-Graduate Training
TrainingInstitutionSpecialty
PostdoctoralNorthwestern UniversityDepartment of Cell and Molecular Biology, Studied the Composition and Structure of Peritubular Dentin and How It Relates to the Dentin Mineralization. Postdoctoral Advisor: Professor Arthur Veis (NU), Collaborated Extensively with Professor Stuart Stock (NU) and Sectors 2 (Nano-Diffraction) and 32 (TXM) at Argonne National Lab
PostdoctoralColumbia University; and Washington University School of Medicine St. LouisPostdoctoral Study in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, (Examining the Structure-Function Relationships at the Tendon-to-Bone Attachment, Postdoctoral Advisor: Professor Stavros Thomopoulos)

Awards
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
NSBRI First Award Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2013-16National Space Biomedical Research Institute
NSF Graduate Fellow, 2007-10National Science Foundation
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellow, 2007-12National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Program
Walter P. Murphy Graduate FellowNorthwestern University
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
NSBRI First Award Fellow Newsletter Spring/Summer (http://www.nsbri.org/EDUCATION-and-TRAINING/Society-of-Fellows/NSBRI-Society-of-Fellows-Newsletter/)EditorExternalNational20152015
Judge at the Masters Level Student Paper Competition at SB3C 2015JudgeExternalNational20152015
Academy of Science St Louis Science Fair JudgeJudgeExternalLocal20152015
Treasurer of “InNUvation” the Entrepreneurship Club at Northwestern UniversityTreasurerExternalUniversity20092010
Treasurer of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at McCormick and Weinberg ClubTreasurerExternalUniversity20092010
Organizer of the Materials Science and Engineering Bring your Daughter to Work DayOrganizerExternalUniversity20072011
Proposal reviewer for NSF and NDSEG fellowship applicants at Northwestern University and Washington UniversityProposal ReviewerExternalUniversity

The body must maintain a pH within a narrow range (7.4±0.05) to sustain life. However, many factors such as kidney disease, diabetes, metabolic diseases, and diet can shift this pH outside the acceptable range. To counter these variations, the body employs a variety of regulatory mechanisms. Although musculoskeletal regulation of pH has been previously reported, the mechanisms by which muscles and bones control acid-base balance are unknown.  My lab will focus on elucidating the relationship between the musculoskeletal system and the acid/base balance in the body. I hypothesize that degradation of muscle, bone, and tendon directly regulates pH at the (1) cellular, (2) local, and (3) systemic levels. This understanding will create a foundation of knowledge for developing therapeutic treatments for diseases such as osteoporosis, muscle wasting, and metabolic acidosis.

1.  CELLULAR ACID/BASE BEHAVIORS:

Osteoporosis, which is responsible for 1.5 million fractures every year (Masi et al, 2008), is often caused by an imbalance between bone dissolution and deposition during remodeling. During remodeling, osteoclasts dissolve collagen and carbonated apatite mineral; however, the rates of dissolution and their relationship to composition are unknown. My lab will focus on understanding the regulatory role of bone composition on bone remodeling. Specifically, I am interested in explaining how carbonate content in bone mineral affects dissolution and ion release at the cellular level. My previous work shows that the addition of carbonate significantly decreases the crystal size, crystallinity, and surface energy while increasing solubility (Deymier, 2017). The addition of carbonate to bone mineral therefore has a significant effect on bone mineral properties and dissolution behavior. I aim to build on my expertise in biomimetic apatites to shed-light on the role of carbonate substitution on regulation of pH during
remodeling.

2.  LOCAL ACID/BASE BEHAVIORS:

Disuse increases the risk of joint injury and failure (Deymier, 2016). However, the mechanisms that lead to this increased failure risk remain unknown. My lab will focus on elucidating the mechanisms by which disuse affects the structure and mechanics of the musculoskeletal system. Specifically, I will focus on the effects of disuse on the local acid/base balance and how it affects tendon and bone structure-function. During my previous work as a National Space Biomedical Research Institute First Award fellow I showed that unloading via Botox lead to compromised mechanics and modified structures. However, there is little work done examining the local pH of disused muscles where an increase in glycolysis is known to occur [6]. My aims are to build on my expertise in the structural and mechanical outcomes of unloading to examine the relationship between injury, acidity, and
disuse.   

3.  SYSTEMIC ACID/BASE BEHAVIORS:

Hyperchloremic Acidosis (HcA) is present in 20-80% of all critically ill (Gunnerson, 2003; Luft, 2001). HcA, which occurs when blood pH drops below 7.35 and leads to a rapid dissolution of bone mineral, which serves to buffer the acid load. Chronic acidosis results in significant bone loss.  Although the link between bone dissolution and acidosis has been established, no one has investigated whether the natural buffering ability of bone could be harnessed to treat individuals with acidosis. My lab will focus on developing techniques to control bone composition to treat HAc without compromising bone mechanics. Specifically, I am interested in prompting osteoclasts to build bone with varying levels of carbonate that can effectively respond to acidity changes. Ideal treatments of HAc would require release of sufficient buffering bicarbonate without significant bone loss. My expertise in murine husbandry and bone mechanics will enable me to develop cell controlled therapies for treating systemic
acidosis.


 


 

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Fall '17, Spring '18

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • High Energy X-ray Diffraction Measurement of Load Transfer Between Hydroxyapatite and Collagen in Bovine Dentin
    Deymier, A.C., J.D. Almer, S.R. Stock, D.R. Haeffner, and D.C. Dunand Structure-Property Relationships in Biomineralized and Biomimetic Composites 2009 Jan;161-166
Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
The Role of Carbonate on Protein–Free Formation of Bone-Like ApatiteTalkSummer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference.2017Tucson, AZ
Multiscale Structure-Function Relationships in Musculoskeletal TissuesTalkNYC Bone Seminar2017New York, NY
Small Structures Big Effects: The Consequences of Unloading on the Tendon-to-Bone attachmentTalkNat'l Space Biomedical Research Institute Musculoskeletal Alterations Mtg2017
Structural and Mechanical Consequences of Unloading on the Tendon-To-Bone AttachmentTalkSummer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference2017Tucson, AZ
The Effects of Unloading on the Structure and Mechanics of the Tendon EnthesisPosterOrthopedic Research Society Meeting2017San Diego, CA
Micromechanical Tensile Properties of Tendon-to-Bone AttachmentPosterOrthopedic Research Society Meeting2017San Diego, CA
The role of biomineral properties on structural tissue mechanicsTalkUniversity of Colorado2016Boulder, CO
Hierarchical Investigation of the Structure and Mechanics of the Tendon-to- Bone AttachmentTalkUniversity of Birmingham2016UK
Protein-free synthesis and mechanical control of carbonated apatite nanoparticlesPosterColumbia University Postdoc Research Symposium2016New York, NY
Consequences of Unloading on the Structure and Mechanics of the EnthesisPoster5th Annual Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Symposium2016Bronx, NY
Protein-free synthesis and mechanical control of carbonated apatite nanoparticlesTalkBiomineralization Gordon Conference2016Girona, Spain
What Determines the Size and Mechanics of Bone-like Mineral?TalkOrthopedic Research Society 2016 Annual Meeting2016Orlando, FL
Micromechanical Tensile Properties of Tendon-to-Bone AttachmentPosterOrthopedic Research Society 2016 Annual Meeting2016Orlando, FL
The Effect of Muscle Unloading on the Adult Tendon-to-Bone AttachmentPosterOrthopedic Research Society 2016 Annual Meeting2016Orlando, FL
Effect of Unloading on the Structure and Mechanics of the Rotator Cuff Tendon-to-Bone Insertion (2nd place winner of the NSBRI Dr. David Watson Poster Competition)PosterHuman Research Project Investigator’s Workshop2016Galveston, TX
Multiscale structure and mechanics of the tendon-to-bone insertion. Seminar Talk at the University of Cambridge, UKTalkUniversity of Cambridge2015UK
Micrometer Scale Mechanical Properties of the Tendon-to-Bone AttachmentTalkSB3C (Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference)2015Snowbird, UT
Effect of Unloading on the Organization of Mineral Crystals at the Tendon-to-Bone Attachment (Winner of the MRC Winter Symposium Poster Award)PosterMusculoskeletal Research Center Winter Symposium2015St Louis, MO
Role of Mineral Organization on the Mechanics of the Tendon-To-Bone Interface Examined via High Energy X-Ray Diffraction (2nd Place winner of the NSBRI Dr. David Watson Poster Competition)PosterHuman Research Program Investigator’s Workshop2015Galveston, TX
Multiscale structure and mechanics of the tendon-to-bone insertionTalkTu Wein University2015Vienna, Austria
The First Award Fellowship and Cool Things it has Allowed Me to Do….TalkInnovation New NSBRI Gen. Workshop, Human Res. Proj. Investigator’s Workshp2015Galveston, TX
Carbonate Substitution in Biological Apatites Controls Crystal Size via Lattice StrainPosterCrystal Growth and Assembly Gordon Research Conference2015Biddeford, ME
Multi-phonon scattering processes in a one-dimensional non-linear phononic crystalTalkASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exhibition2014Montreal, Canada
Multi-scale mechanics of the tendon-to-bone attachmentPosterMSM Consortium Meeting, Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group (IMAG)2014NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
Allometry of the Tendon-to-Bone Insertion: How the Rotator Cuffs in Large Animals Adapt to Increased LoadingTalk7th World Congress of Biomechanics2014Boston, MA
Image-Based Modeling of Tendon-to-Bone AttachmentPoster7th World Congress of Biomechanics2014Boston, MA
Effect of Unloading on the Structure and Mechanics of the Rotator Cuff Tendon-to-Bone InsertionTalkNSBRI Summer Bioastronautics Institute2014Houston, TX
Scaling of the tendon-to-bone insertion to accommodate increased loads in larger animalsTalkOrthopedic Research Society Annual Meeting2014New Orleans, LA
Role of Mineral organization on the mechanics of the tendon-to-bone Interface Examined via High Energy X-ray diffractionPosterOrthopedic Research Society 2014 Annual Meeting2014New Orleans, LA
Role of Mineral Organization on the Mechanics of the Tendon-to-Bone Interface Examined via High Energy X-ray DiffractionPosterMusculoskeletal Research Center 4th Annual Winter Symposium2014St. Louis, MO
Rough interfaces to smooth rotator cuff repairOther3rd ASME Global Congress on Nanoengineering in Medicine Biology (NEMB2014)2014San Francisco, CA
Multiscale structure and mechanics of the tendon-to-bone insertion.TalkAvioli Musculoskeletal Seminar Series, Washington University in St Louis2014St Louis, MO
Mineral morphology at the tendon-to-bone Interface observed via High Energy X-ray diffractionTalkASME Summer Bioengineering Conference2013Sunriver, OR
Investigation of the Structure of Peritubular Dentine via SEM and TOF-SIMS analysisPosterBiomineralization Gordon Conference2012New London, NH
The Effect of X-ray Irradiation on the Creep Behavior of Bovine Cortical BoneTalkSociety of Engineering Science Annual Technical Conference2011Evanston, IL
Effects of X-Ray Irradiation on Load Partitioning Between the Constituent Phases of Cortical BonePosterBone Research Society/British Orthopaedic Research Society Joint Meeting2011Cambridge, UK
Probing Creep Mechanisms in Bone and Dentin by Synchrotron X-ray DiffractionPosterBiomineralization Gordon Conference2010New London, NH
Creep Mechanism in Bone and Dentin via High energy X-ray DiffractionTalkSEM Annual Conference & Exposition on Experimental & Applied Mechanics2010Indianapolis, IN
Materials Science Analysis of Copper Artifacts from Cahokia’s Mound 34TalkSociety for American Archaeology 75th Anniversary Meeting2010St. Louis, MO
High Energy X-ray Diffraction Measurement of Load Transfer between Hydroxyapatite and Collagen in Bovine DentinTalkMRS Spring Meeting2009San Francisco, CA
X-ray Studies of Bovine TeethTalkAdvanced Photon Source User Science Seminar Series2009Argonne, IL
Determination of the Mechanical Properties of Bovine Dentin Using High Energy X-ray DiffractionPosterArgonne National Laboratory Users Week2007Argonne, IL
Laser Removal of Conservation TreatmentsPosterFall MRS Meeting2004Boston, MA