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The Biomaterial Lab currently has two primary areas of research: osseosurface electronics and tissue engineering.

Developed by this lab and engineering collaborators at the University of Arizona, osseosurface electronics are novel, wireless, battery-free sensors that bond to bone using calcium phosphate ceramic coatings. 

These tiny, chip-like devices are roughly the thickness of a sheet of paper and have multimodal sensing capabilities that provide ongoing data about bone health, such as measures of deformation and temperature mapping at millikelvin resolution, useful for assessing healing or early inflammation in bone healing. 

With onboard optical electronics, the devices can also be used for measuring bone density or delivering photostimulation, with applications in research that employs optogenetics.

Our lab also explores new technologies for tissue engineering. One work focuses on generating tissue from stem cells harvested from body fat.

We also collaborate with biomedical and material science engineers to develop new biomaterial that can be used with additive manufacturing, akin to 3D printing, to create custom scaffolds that facilitate bone and cartilage regeneration.

Learn more about select projects

ortho scaffold

News & Announcements

Learn more about cartilage tissue research at the Biomaterial Lab in this interview with lab founder and former director John Szivek, PhD.

Join Our Research

Clinical studies are the key to improving health care with new knowledge and treatments. A UArizona Institutional Review Board responsible for research with people as participants reviews all studies for compliance with state and federal regulations and University policies designed to protect participants' rights and welfare.

Please check another time: We are not currently seeking new study participants.

Join Our Team

Lab work offers valuable experience for future health care careers, as well as other careers in science, technology and engineering. We are always interested in meeting possible research assistants.

We have no openings right now, but resumes are always welcome by email.


David Stephen Margolis, MD

Meet Lab Director David Stephen Margolis, MD, PhD

David Margolis, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of biomedical engineering, orthopaedic surgery and physiology and a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Margolis completed both his MD and PhD at the University of Arizona. His research interests include biomaterials and biomechanics, bone healing, hand and wrist repair, sensor technology, tissue engineering and tissue regeneration.

Specializing in orthopedic hand surgery, Dr. Margolis is also an active contributor in the Hand Research Laboratory.

See Journal Articles on PubMed


Director Emeritus, John A. Szivek, PhD

John Szivek, PhD, founded the the Biomaterial Lab (previously the "Szivek Lab") in 1990, leading its research and mentoring physician, graduate and undergraduate lab members until passing leadership to Dr. Margolis in 2022. Szivek has been a global pioneer in implantable sensors and transmitters as well as the science of technology of cartilage and bone regeneration and tissue engineering using synthetic scaffolds and adult stem cells. In 2003, Szivek was awarded the inaugural William and Sylvia Rubin Chair in Orthopaedic Research by the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.


John A. Szivek, PhD

Mailing Address

University of Arizona
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
1501 N. Campbell Ave.
PO Box 245064, Room 8401
Tucson, AZ 85724



(520) 626-8229