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Biomedical Engineering Faculty

Victor L. Sylvia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Orthopaedics

Educational Background:
Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Areas of Research Interest:

  • Regulation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), collagen deposition and cytokine production by nitric oxide in chronic wounds
  • Role of endothelial nitric oxide synthetase (eNOS) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in Charcot neuropathy
  • Response of osteoblasts to titanium surface nanotopography
  • MMPs and their inhibitors as prognostic indicators of soft tissue sarcoma severity and recurrence
  • Regulation of angiogenic factor production in giant cell tumor of bone
  • Overexpression of certain MMPs is associated with a variety of pathological conditions, such as chronic wounds. In diabetics, wound healing is impaired. Reports show that nitric oxide concentration tends to be very low and certain MMP levels tend to be very high in chronic, non-healing wounds. We have demonstrated that raising nitric oxide concentration reduces MMP-8 and MMP-9 expression (Burrow et al., 2007) and allows skin wounds to heal faster. At present, we are testing a variety of nitric oxide donor compounds to evaluate their efficacy for the treatment of chronic wounds. In the future, we hope to combine these compounds with the appropriate biomaterials to deliver them efficiently to promote healing in a variety of other tissues.

    Our laboratory also has a history of investigating how bone cells attach, grow and differentiate on titanium implant surfaces of varying roughness. At the present time, we are examining the influence of inflammatory mediators, prostaglandins and leukotrienes, and their receptors on osteoblast behavior on implant surfaces. This research should provide information leading to the optimization of dental and orthopaedic implants for improved osseointegration.
    In addition to these research pursuits, I am the Vice-Chairman of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the Departmental Animal Resource Officer (DARO) for the Orthopaedics department.

    Selected Publications:

    Alford SH, Vrana MS, Waite L, Heim-Hall J, Sylvia VL, Williams RP: Matrix metalloproteinase expression in high grade soft tissue sarcomas. Oncology Reports (in press).

    Larsen MW, Tinkler B, Bell SE, Sylvia VL, Dean DD, Hardin RR, Heim-Hall J, Williams RP: Effects of Interferon alpha-2a on basic fibroblast growth factor production by giant cell tumor stromal cells. Bone, submitted, 2007.

    Burrow JW, Koch JA, Chuang H-H, Zhong W, Dean DD, and Sylvia VL: Nitric Oxide Donors Selectively Reduce the Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases-8 and -9 by Human Diabetic Skin Fibroblasts. Journal of Surgical Research,140:90-98, 2007.

    Alves, CM, Yang, Y, Carnes, DL, Ong, JL, Sylvia, VL, Dean, DD, Agrawal, CM, Reis, RL. Modulating Bone Cells Response onto Starch-based Biomaterials by Surface Plasma Treatment and Protein Adsorption. Biomaterials, 28:307-315, 2007.

    McMillan J, Fatehi-Sedeh S, Sylvia VL, Bingham V, Zhong M, Boyan BD, Schwartz: Sex-specific regulation of growth plate chondrocytes by estrogen is via multiple MAP kinase signaling pathways. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1763:381-92, 2006.

    Kim HJ, Kim SH, Kim MS, Lee MJ, Oh HG, Oh Wm, Park SW, Kim WJ, Lee GJ, Choi NG, Dinh DB, Hardin RR, Johnson K, Sylvia VL, Schmitz JP and Dean DD: Varying Ti-6Al-4V surface roughness induces different early morphologic and molecular responses in MG63 osteoblast-like cells. J Biomed Mater Res, 74A: 366-373, 2005.

    Gay I, Schwartz Z, Sylvia VL, Boyan BD: Lysophospholipid regulates release and activation of latent TGF-β1 from chondrocyte extracellular matrix. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1684:18-28, 2004.

    Sylvia VL, Gay I, Hardin R, Dean DD, Boyan BD, and Schwartz Z: Rat Costochondral Chondrocytes Produce 17β-Estradiol and Regulate its Production by Vitamin D3 Metabolites. Bone 30: 57-62, 2002.

    Sylvia VL, Del Toro F Jr, Hardin RR, Dean DD, Boyan BD, Schwartz Z: Characterization of PGE2 receptors (EP) and their role as mediators of 1α,25(OH)2D3 effects on growth zone chondrocytes. J Steroid Biochem Molec Biol 78:261- 274, 2001.

    Sylvia VL, Del Toro F, Dean DD, Hardin RR, Schwartz Z Boyan BD: Effects of 1a,25-(OH)2D3 on rat growth zone chondrocytes are mediated by cyclooxygenase-1 and phospholipase A2. J Cell Biochem.[Supplement 36]:32-45, 2001.

    Sylvia VL, Boyan BD, Dean DD, Schwartz Z: The membrane effects of 17β-estradiol on chondrocyte phenotypic expression are mediated by activation of protein kinase C through phospholipase C and G-proteins. J Steroid Biochem Molec Biol 73:211-224, 2000.

    Sylvia VL, Schwartz Z, Dean DD, Boyan BD: Transforming growth factor-β1 regulation of resting zone chondrocytes is mediated by two separate but interacting pathways. Biochim Biophys Acta 1496:311-324, 2000.

    Contact Information:

    Department of Orthopaedics, Room 518C MED
    University of Texas Health Science Center
    Phone: 210-567-6328
    Fax: 210-567-6295

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