Wei Michael Lai

W. Michael Lai joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1987 as Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Orthopaedic Bioengineering - a joint appointment between the Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Physicians and Surgeons. He served as Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department from 1996 to 2002. His research interest is in the area of Orthopaedic Biomechanics.

He is active in the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He served as Chairman of the Bioengineering Division in 1996/97 and an associate editor of the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, ASME from 1990 to 1996. Among the awards that he has received include two best paper awards for his research in Biomechanics - the ASME Melville Medal in 1982 and the Bioengineering Division Best Paper Award in 1991 and the ASME Lissner Award for outstanding achievement in Bioengineering in 2001. He is a Fellow of ASME and a Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

He has received two teaching awards, including the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award from the Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association in 2000.




  1. Elements of Mechanics of Elastic Solids, W.M. Lai and E. Saibel, Addison Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1965
  2. Introduction to Continuum Mechanics, W.M. Lai, D. Rubin and E. Krempl, Pergamon Press, First Edition, 1972; Second Edition 1978.
  3. Introduction to Continuum Mechanics, W.M. Lai, D. Rubin and E. Krempl, Pergamon Press, Third Edition 1994.
  4. Introduction to Continuum Mechanics, W.M. Lai, D. Rubin and E. Krempl, Elsevier Science Publisher, Fourth Edition 2010.

Selected Papers and Book Chapters (1991-2002)

  1. A Triphasic Theory for the Swelling and Deformation Behaviors of Articular cartilage, W.M. Lai, J.S. Hou, V.C. Mow, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. Vol 113, 3, 198-207, 1991.
  2. The Density and Strength of Proteoglycan-Proteoglycan Interaction sites In Concentrated Solutions. W. Zhu, W.M. Lai and V.C. Mow, Journal of Biomechanics. Vol 24, 11, 1007-1018, 1991.
  3. A Contact Problem Modelling the Squeeze Film Mode of Synovial Joint Lubrication, V.C. Mow, J.S. Hou, W.M.Lai and M. H. Holmes, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, 1991.
  4. Constitutive Theory for the Mechano-Electrochemical Properties of Articular cartilage, W.M. Lai, W. Gu, L. Setton and V.C. Mow, 1991 Biomechanics symposium, AMD-Vol. 120, Eds. R.L.Spilker and M. H. Friedman, 233-238, 1991.
  5. Biphasic FEM of Frictional Creep Indentation of Articular Cartilage, K.A. Athanasiou, R.L. Spilker, W. M. Lai and V.C. Mow, Biomech Symp ASME, AMD 120: 153-156, 1991.
  6. An Analysis of the Squeeze Film Lubrication Mechanism For Articular Cartilage. J.S. Hou, V.C. Mow, W.M. Lai and M.H. Holmes, Journal of Biomechanics. Vol 25, 3, 247-260, 1992.
  7. Analysis of Fluid and Ion Transport Through a Porous Charged-Hydrated Biological Tissue During a Permeation Experiment, W.Y. Gu, W.M.Lai and V.C.Mow, Proc. Symp comp Mech Porous Material, ed by N.J. Salamon and R.M. Sullivan, AMD-Vol 136, ASME, 29-42, 1992.
  8. Transport of fluid and ions through a porous permeable charged-hydrated tissue, and streaming potential data on normal bovine articular cartilage, W.Y.Gu, W.M.Lai and V.C.Mow, Journal of Biomechanics. Vol. 26, 6, 1993.
  9. Factors Influencing Interstitial Flow in Articular Cartilage, W.M.Lai, W.Y.Gu and V.C.Mow, Proc. Bioengineering Conference, BED-Vol.24, 395-398, 1993.
  10. Constitutive Modeling of Articular Cartilage and Biomacromolecular Solutions. W.M.Lai, V.C. Mow and W. Zhu. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. Vol. 115, No. 4(B), 451-622, 1993.
  11. Theoretical Basis for Measurements of Cartilage Fixed-Charge Density Using Streaming Current and Electro-Osmosis Effects, W.Y. Gu, W.M.Lai and V.C. Mow, Advances in Bioengineering, Ed. J.M. Tarbell, VED-Vol. 26, 55-58, 1993.
  12. An Asymptotic Solution for Two contacting Biphasic Cartilage Layers, G.A.Ateshian, W.M.Lai, W.B. Zhu and V.C.Mow, Journal of Biomechanics, 27:1347-1360, 1994.
  13. Flows of Electrolytes Through Charged Hydrated Biological Tissue. W.M.Lai, W. Gu and V.C.Mow. Applied Mechanics Review, Vol 47, 2, 277-281, 1994.
  14. Mechanism for Regulation of Articular Cartilage Hydration in a Canine Model of Osteoarthritis. Trans Orthop Res Soc,19, 493, 1994.
  15. On Negative Osmosis in Cartilage: A Theoretical Analysis, W.Y. Gu, W. M. Lai, V.C. Mow, Proc Int Conf Biomed Engng, 1994.
  16. A Generalized Triphasic Theory for Multi-Electrolyte Transport in Charged Hydrated Soft tissues, W. Gu, W.M.Lai and V.C. Mow, Advances in Bioengineering, BED Vol.28, ed by M.J. Askew, New York, ASME, 217-218, 1994.
  17. Quantification of the "Curling" Behavior of Articular Cartilage. H. Tohyama, L.A. Setton, F. Guilak, W. M. Lai, V.C. Mow, Proc 2nd World Cong Biomech, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, ed by L Blankevoort, JGM Kooloos, II, 217, 1994.
  18. The Evolution of Constitutive Modeling of Articular Cartilage: A Paradigm in the Study of Charged-hydrated-soft Tissues. V.C. Mow, W.M.Lai, Proc 2nd World Cong Biomech, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, ed by L Blankevoort, JGM Kooloos,I,1, 1994.
  19. Experimental Measurement of the in Vitro Curling Behavior of Articular Cartilage, L.A. Setton, H. Tohyama, W.M. Lai, F. Guilak and V.C. Mow, Advances in Bioengineering, BED Vol.28, ed by M.J. Askew, New York, ASME, 135-136, 1994.
  20. Effects of mechanical stress and deformation on passive ion transport through hydrated permeable tissues, W.Y. Gu, W.M. Lai, V.C. Mow, Annuals of Biomedical Engineering, 23/S.1, S-104, 1995.
  21. Predictions of the swelling induced pre-stress in articular cartilage. L.A. Setton, W.Y. Gu, W.M. Lai, V.C. Mow, In Mechanics of Poroelastic Media, ed. APS Selvadurai, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 299-322, 1995.
  22. Changes in Proteoglycan Synthesis Rates of Chondrocytes in Articular Cartilage are Associated with the Time Dependent Changes in their Mechanical Environment, N.M. Bachrach, W.B. Valhmu WB, E. Stazzone, A. Ratcliffe, W.M. Lai and V.C. Mow , Journal of Biomechanics, 28:12, 1561-1569, 1995.
  23. An Analytical Model for Membrane Stretch and Chondrocyte Volume Change During Tissue Compression: A Biphasic Inclusion Model, N.M. Bachrach, G.S. Chorney, W.M. Lai, V.C. Mow, Advances in Bioengineering, BED-Vol 31, ASME, 1995.
  24. Ion-induced Swelling Behavior of Articular Cartilage in Tension. H. Tohyama, W.Y. Gu, L.A. Setton, W.M. Lai, V.C. Mow, Trans Orthop Res Soc., 20, 702, 1995.
  25. Effects of Na-Ca Exchange on Cartilage Swelling and Fluid Transport, W.Y.Gu, W. M. Lai, V.C. Mow,  BED-Vol 29, 29-30, ASME, 1995.
  26. Measurement of Streaming Potential of Bovine Articular and Nasal Cartilage in 1-D Permeation Experiments, W.Y. Gu, J. Rabin, W.M.Lai, V.C.Mow,  Advances in Bioengineering, BED-Vol 31, ASME, 1995.
  27. A Technique for Measuring Volume and True Density of the Solid Matrix of Cartilaginous Tissues. W.Y. Gu, B. Lewis, W. M. Lai, V.C. Mow, Advances in Bioengineering, BED-Vol. 33, 89-90,  ASME, 1996.
  28. Effect of Disc Degeneration on Streaming Potential of Human Annulus Fibrosus, W.Y.Gu, J. Rabin, B.A. Rawlins, V.C. Mow, Advances in Bioengineering, Advances in Bioengineering, BED-Vol. 33, 251-252, ASME, 1996
  29. A Triphasic Analysis of Negative Osmotic Flow Through Charged-Hydrated Soft Tissues. W. Y.Gu, W.M. Lai, V.C. Mow, Journal of Biomechanics, 30:71-78, 1997.
  30. Nonlinear Mechano-electrochemical Theory for Transport Phenomenoa in Soft Hydrated Tissues.  W. M. Lai, W.Y. Gu, V.C. Mow, Proc. Int. Conf. New Frontiers in Biomedical Eng., JSME Centennial Grand Congress, Eds. K. Tanishita, M. Sato, p33-36, 1997.
  31. The Role of Interstitial Fluid Pressurization and Surface Porosities on the Boundary Friction of Articular Cartilage. G.A. Ateshian, H. Wang, W.M. Lai,  J. Tribology, 120:241-251, 1998.
  32. A Mixture Theory for Charged Hydrated Soft Tissues Containing Multi-electrolytes: Passive Transport and Swelling Behaviors, W.Y. Gu, W. M. Lai, V.C. Mow, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 120: 169-180, 1998.
  33. Multi-phasic Mixture Theory for Charged Soft Hydrated Tissues.  Proc. 13th US National Congress of Applied Mechanics, June, 1998.
  34. Effects of Fixed Charges on the Stress-relaxation Behavior of Hydrated Soft Tissues in a Confined Compression Experiment, V.C. Mow, G.A. Ateshian, W.M.Lai, W.Y. Gu, Int. J. Solids and Structures, 35:4945-4962, 1998
  35. A Transversely-Isotropic Biphasic Model for Unconfined Compression of Growth Plate and Chondroepiphysis, B. Cohen, W.M. Lai and V.C. Mow,  Journal of Biomechanical Eng., J Biomech Engng 120:491-496, 1998.
  36. On the Equivalence of Chemical Load and Mechanical Load on Articular Cartilage, W.M. Lai, W.Y. Gu, V.C. Mow, Journal of Biomechanics, 12:1181-1185, 1998.
  37. A mixture theory for charged hydrated soft tissues containing multi-electrolytes: passive transport and swelling behaviors, W.Y.Gu, W.M.Lai, V.C.Mow, J Biomech Engng, 120:169-180, 1998
  38. Effects of fixed charges on the stress-relaxation behavior of hydrated soft tissues in a confined compression problem. V.C.Mow, G.A. Ateshian, W.M.Lai, W.Y.Gu, Int J Solids and Structures, 35:4945-4962, 1998.
  39. The role of interstitial fluid pressurization and surface porosities on the boundary friction of articular cartilage, G.A.Ateshian, H. Wang, W.M.Lai, Journal of Tribology, ASME, 120:241-251, 1998.
  40. Transport of multi-electrolytes in charged hydrated biological soft tissues, W.Y.Gu, W.M.Lai, V.C.Mow, J Trans Porous Med, 34:143-157, 1999.
  41. A mixed finite element formulation of triphasic mechano-electrochemical theory for charged, hydrated biological soft tissues, D.N.Sun, W.Y.Gu, X.E.Guo, W.M.Lai, V.C.Mow, In J Num Meth Engng, 45:1375-1402, 1999.
  42. On the electrical potentials inside a charged soft hydrated biological tissues: Streaming potential vs. diffusion potential, W.M.Lai, V.C.Mow, D.D.Sun, G.A.Ateshian, J Biomech Engng, 122:336-346,2000.
  43. Effects of inhomogeneous fixed charged density on the electrical signals for chondrocytes in cartilage, W.M.Lai, D.D.Sun, G.A.Ateshian, V.C.Mow, ASME-AMD-BED Symp on Mechanics in Biology, eds. J Casey, G Bao, AMD242/BED46:201-213, 2000.
  44. Electrical signals for chondrocytes in cartilage, W.M.Lai, D.D.Sun, G.A.Ateshian, X.E. Guo, V.C.Mow, Biorheology, 39:39-45, 2002.


Last Updated March 24, 2020