Patient Couch
Jeff Toth_Academic Profile

Jeffrey Toth, PhD, FAIMBE

Adjunct Professor, Director of Biomaterials Research


  • Marquette University, Biomaterials Lab
    William Wehr Physics, 1420 W. Clybourn St., Room 127,
    Milwaukee, WI 53233

Contact Information

General Interests

Biomaterials Research Projects


PhD, Materials Engineering, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, 1992


Dr. Jeffrey Toth joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1992. He received his doctorate in Materials Engineering in 1992 from Marquette University and his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Degree from Marquette University in 1988. Since joining the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery as a faculty member in 1992, Dr. Toth has served as a Principal Investigator on numerous extramurally funded studies investigating the efficacy of biomaterials for orthopaedic surgery and spine surgery.  In addition to significant industrial funding, Dr. Toth has obtained grant support through the NIH: NIAMS Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Research, NIDRR: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the National Arthritis Foundation, and the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Toth’s active research projects include: Delivery of osteoinductive proteins on implants, pre-clinical testing of orthopaedic and spine biomaterials, and retrieval analysis of explanted spine devices. Dr. Toth has published numerous articles in scientific journals and given many presentations on a variety of biomaterials research projects. Working with Dr. John Brekke, he formulated a definition for tissue engineering which has been used in the scientific literature: “Tissue engineering is an art and science by which synthetic compounds are manipulated into anatomically and/or functionally specific architectures and, when required, may be integrated with biologically active agents and/or living cells such that resultant properties of the whole are precisely suited to support the specific cell life prescribed for recipient tissues.” [1] The Biomaterials laboratory has applied tissue engineering to back or spine musculoskeletal impairment, which has been reported to represent more than half of the musculoskeletal impairments in the United States. In the 18-84 age group, back or spine impairment is the leading cause of activity limitation and results in more lost productivity than any other medical condition. It has been estimated that 4.4 million people 25-74 years of age report intervertebral disc problems in the United States. In addition to work on metallic biomaterials for spine arthrodesis and spine arthroplasty, his laboratory has also been involved in the development of radiolucent spine fusion devices. He evaluated polylactides as resorbable spine fusion devices. Dr. Toth also co-authored a paper on polyetheretherketone (PEEK) for use as a non-absorbable biopolymer as a spinal biomaterial in the journal BIOMATERIALS in 2006.  A major research theme for his laboratory has involved retrieval analysis of explanted spine devices. With the current controversies in large joint arthroplasty, the laboratory undertook an analysis of peri-prosthetic tissues from total disc arthroplasty (TDA) explants. He found that the particulate debris, corrosion products, and attendant host response found in peri-prosthetic tissues of explanted total disc arthroplasty devices varied with the specific biomaterials used in the device. Therefore, the tissue response associated with one device made of one biomaterial is not the same as the tissue response to a different TDA composed of another biomaterial. Dr. Toth is also active in numerous professional organizations, including the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the Society for Biomaterials, ASM International, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Dr. Toth is a key faculty member of OREC, the Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering Center, a joint effort between the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University. Dr. Toth also serves as Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials at the Marquette University School of Dentistry and Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Marquette University College of Engineering. Through OREC, Toth teaches biomaterials courses and supervises Master’s and doctoral students in collaborative biomaterials research projects. “For outstanding contributions in the field of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering for research accomplishments and novel clinical applications to bone graft materials and carriers and spinal implant systems”, Dr. Toth was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2010. Located in Washington, D.C., AIMBE recognizes the top 2% of biomedical engineers in the country with the distinction of fellow. Dr. Toth has been invited to speak at the Chinese National Academy of Sciences, Gordon conferences on Calcium Phosphates, international conferences on bone morphogenetic proteins, and Symposiums on Ceramics in Medicine. He has additionally published and/or presented over 160 scientific abstracts at national and international meetings throughout the world. In 2017, Dr. Toth was recognized as an “Outstanding Graduate School Educator” by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at MCW.

[1] Brekke JH and Toth JM: Principles of Tissue Engineering Applied to Programmable Osteogenesis. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Applied Biomaterials, 43(4):380-398, 1998.

Google Scholar


NIH NCBI Bibliography

Research Interests

Biomaterials Research Projects
Bone Void Fillers
Osteoinductive Bone Graft Substitutes
Bone Grafts and Bone Graft Substitutes

Decalcified histology, undecalcified histology, microradiography, high resolution radiography, and quantitative histomorphometry
Bone Tissue Engineering
Explant analysis of spine arthroplasty devices, spine arthrodesis devices, and spine biomaterials