University of Calgary

Tannin Schmidt

  • Adjunct Associate Professor

Research Interests

Movement Science & Musculoskeletal Health:

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Associate Professor; Faculty of Kinesiology, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Centre for Bioengineering Research and Education.

Associate Director; Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program.


2006-2008 Instructor/ Post-Doctoral Fellow; Rush University Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine (Rheumatology) & Department of Biochemistry
2002-2006 Ph.D.; University of California – San Diego, Department of Bioengineering
2000-2002 M.Sc.; University of California – San Diego, Department of Bioengineering
1996-2000 B.A.Sc; University of Toronto, Division of Engineering Science


My research interests in bioengineering lie within biomaterials, biomechanics, biotribology, and biochemistry. My long term research interests include mechanistic based, multidisciplinary study of articular cartilage & ocular surface boundary lubrication through clinical, biochemical and engineering collaborations. For articular cartilage lubrication, relevant areas include the study of normal, injured, and diseased cartilage and synovial fluid, where composition and interactions of mechanically relevant biomolecules can be altered, as well as other tissues in the joint affected by injury and disease, in addition to biomaterials used for joint arthroplasty. For ocular surface lubrication, relevant areas include the study of lubricating macromolecules present at ocular surfaces and the role they play in maintaining ocular surface integrity. Collectively this work could ultimately lead to the development of new cell, protein or tissue based biotherapeutic biomaterials that may 1) halt or reverse the progressive loss of cartilage after sports injury or with aging and arthritis; 2) prolong the lifetime and therefore performance of implant materials used for joint arthroplasty; and 3) provide a therapeutically effect treatment option for those who suffer from symptoms associated with dry eye disease.

Current Work

My current work involves examination and elucidation of the structure-function relationship governing the multiple biological properties of proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) that contribute to the overall maintenance and integrity of the knee joint and ocular surface. PRG4, a multimeric, mucin-like glycoprotein secreted by cells that line the synovial joint, is present at the surface of synovial tissues and in synovial fluid. PRG4 is also expressed by cells at, and is present on, the ocular surface. PRG4 structure and abundance in synovial fluid is altered and diminished, respectively, after a traumatic knee injury which is associated with an increased incidence of osteoarthritis (OA). Altered PRG4 expression may play a role in the development and persistence of dry eye disease, with symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and potential damage to the ocular surface. Current investigations use biomechanical-biotribological (boundary lubrication), biophysical, and biochemical methods.

Desired Outcomes

Through increased understanding of PRG4’s contribution to knee joint and ocular surface maintenance and health, the desired outcome is to contribute to the development of treatments or therapeutics that 1) stop, slow, and/or reverse the progressive degeneration of articular cartilage that leads to the well established high occurrence of OA in post injury knee joints; 2) prolong the lifetime of implant materials used for joint arthroplasty; 3) provide relief to those who suffer from symptoms associated with dry eye disease.


To view Tannin A. Schmidt’s publications please see his Curriculum Vitae (PDF format)

Curriculum Vitae


  • PEng
    Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta, 2012
  • PhD - Bioengineering
    University of California at San Diego, 2006
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