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John Cotton

Associate Professor
Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering
STKR 255
Phone: 740.593.9970

Dr. Cotton spent the early 1990s as contractor for the Federal Highway Administration's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center simulating freeway flows. Dr. Cotton returned to Blacksburg, earning a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics with an option in biomechanics. He then took a research fellowship in the Bioengineering Science Research Group at the University of Southampton in the U.K., creating fatigue damage simulations of human bone. Dr. Cotton returned to Virginia Tech to serve on the faculty of Engineering Science and Mechanics until 2007. Dr. Cotton has published more than 60 refereed articles and conference papers. He has taught introductory mechanics, physics, and computational methods courses as well as advanced courses in numerical modeling and mechanics of both traditional and biologic materials.

Research Interests: Applied Math, Biomedical Engineering, CAD/CAM/CAE, Mechanics

All Degrees Earned: Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 1998. M.S., Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 1989. B.S., Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 1987.


A Finite Element Analysis of Sacroiliac Joint Ligaments in Response to Different Loading Conditions PH Eichenseer, DR Sybert, JR Cotton Spine 36 (22), E1446. 2011 

Mechanical analysis of percutaneous sacroplasty using CT image based finite element models DE Anderson, JR Cotton Medical engineering & physics 29 (3), 316-325. 2007 

Mechanical properties and consequences of stereocilia and extracellular links in vestibular hair bundles JH Nam, JR Cotton, EH Peterson, W Grant Biophysical journal 90 (8), 2786-2795. 2006. 

Damage rate is a predictor of fatigue life and creep strain rate in tensile fatigue of human cortical bone samples JR Cotton, K Winwood, P Zioupos, M Taylor Journal of biomechanical engineering 127, 213. 2005 

Analysis of creep strain during tensile fatigue of cortical bone JR Cotton, P Zioupos, K Winwood, M Taylor Journal of biomechanics 36 (7), 943-949. 2003

Something you may not know about me: Spent a year backpacking around Oceana, southeast and south Asia, Africa, and Europe

Journal Article, Academic Journal (11)

  • Snively, E., Cotton, J., Ridgely, R., Witmer, L. Multibody dynamics model of head and neck function in Allosaurus (Dinosauria, Theropoda). 2. Palaeontologia Electronica; 16: 29.
  • Ertas, A., Winwood, K., Zioupos, P., Cotton, J. Simulation of Creep in Nonhomogenous Samples of Human Cortical Bone. 10. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering; 15: 1121-1128.
  • Dunlap, T., Keller, D., Marshall, M., Costerton, W., Schaudinn, C., Sindelar, B., Cotton, J. Subgingival Delivery of Oral Debriding Agents: A Proof of Concept. 5. Journal of Clinical Dentistry; 22: 149-158.
  • Eichenseer, P., Sybert, D., Cotton, J. A Finite Element Analysis of Sacroiliac Joint Ligaments in Response to Different Loading Conditions. 22. Spine; 36: 1446-52.
  • Miller, L., Nickols-Richardson, S., Wooten, D., Ramp, W., Steele, C., Cotton, J., Carneal, J., Herbert, W. Isokinetic Resistance Training Increases Tibial Bending Stiffness in Young Women. Calcified Tissue International International; 84: 446–452.
  • Nam, J., Cotton, J., Grant, J. A Virtual Hair Cell: I. Addition of Gating Spring Theory Into a 3-D Bundle Mechanical Model. Biophysical Journal; Vol. 92: p. 1918-1928.
  • Nam, J., Cotton, J., Grant, J. A Virtual Hair Cell: II. Evaluation of Mechanoelectric Transduction Parameters. Biophysical Journal; 92: 1929-1937.
  • Anderson, D., Cotton, J. Mechanical Analysis of Percutaneous Sacroplasty using CT Image based Finite Element Models. Medical Engineering and Physics; 29: 316-325.
  • Winwood, K., Zioupos, P., Currey, J., Cotton, J., taylor, M. Strain patterns during tensile, compressive, and shear fatigue of human cortical bone and implications for bone biomechanics. Part A. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research; Vol. 79 (2): p. 289-297.
  • Cotton, J. Computational models of hair cell bundle mechanics: II. Simplified bundle models. Hearing Research; Vol. 197 (1-2): pp. 105-111.
  • Cotton, J. Computational models of hair cell bundle mechanics: III. 3-D utricular bundles. Hearing Research; Vol. 197(1-2): pp. 112-130.

Technical Report (1)

  • Edwards, J., Quinet, D., Cotton, J., Kraft, F., Bruckner, D. Assessment of EndfireGlide Slope (EFGS) Compliance to Recent Changes in Frangibility Requirements. OU/AEC 11-08/TM- DTFAWA-10-D00020-TTD1; 73 pages.

Conference Proceeding (4)

  • Garven, B., Ellerbrock, E., Bowman, L., Loucks, A., Cotton, J. Evaluating Bending Stiffness Sensitivity Through Parametric Models of the Human Ulna. 2103. Abstracts of Biomedical Engineering Society 2013 Annual Meeting; 1.
  • Zaylor, W., Sindelar, B., Cotton, J. The Influence of Occlusal Splinting on the Trabecular Morphology in the Sagittal Plane of the Temporomandibular Joint. American Society of Biomechanics; 2.
  • Cotton, J., Bowman, L., Stroud, C. Ulna Simulation Assesses Sensitivity to Bone Elastic Modulus Variations in a MRTA Test. American Society of Biomechanics;
  • Zaylor, W., Sindelar, B., Cotton, J. Finite Element Analysis Demonstrates Splinting in the Porcine Mandibular Condyle Causes Changes in Bone Volume Fraction and Stiffness Anisotropy. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, International.