Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery offers services and programs through the following Divisions. Use these links to directly access all our Department sites.


Biomechanical Testing Facility (BTF)

(Download the PDF version)

We partner with industry to conduct research in the following areas:

  • Musculoskeletal disease pathomechanics
  • Development and evaluation of promising new orthopaedic technologies
  • Creation of testing standards for cross-product comparisons of medical devices
  • Biomechanical testing
  • Material property characterization
  • Multiaxial testing
  • Failure analysis
  • Internal stress analysis
  • Three-dimensional motion tracking
  • Medical Imaging
  • Cadaver Labs

We offer two types of contracts in order to meet your needs:

Service Contracts
Short-term projects that consist of existing IRC experimental protocols. We will execute the experiment and post-process the data on an expedited time schedule.

Research Agreements
Research Agreements are longer term projects with custom-designed experimental protocols. In addition to planning and executing the experiment, we will collaborate with you to interpret and publish the data.

 We specialize in:

  • Comprehensive project planning
  • Custom experimental and data analysis protocols
  • Dissemination of results in the scientific community (e.g. journal manuscripts and conference abstracts)

Faculty & Staff

Safa Herfat, Ph.D.
Dr. Herfat joined UCSF in 2012 as the Director of the Biomechanical Testing Facility and became research faculty in 2014.  His expertise is in the biomechanical testing of medical devices, surgical instruments, and cadaveric fracture fixation and spine stabilization constructs. While he continues to conduct industry-funded evaluations of orthopaedic medical devices and surgical techniques, his research focuses on integrating experimental biomechanical testing, finite element analysis and clinical outcomes to develop devices and surgical strategies that will improve patient outcomes. Dr. Herfat also collaborates with other faculty at the Orthopaedic Trauma Institute and UC Berkeley to develop implantable orthopaedic sensors.

Internships and Volunteering

For more information about our excellent research opportunities, please contact Safa Herfat, Ph.D. at

Donate to BTF

The UCSF/SFGH Orthopaedic Trauma Center is fully committed to advancing the field of orthopaedic trauma worldwide through leadership in patient care, conducting high quality research, and local/regional, national and international outreach. Like other public institutions, its efforts are critically dependent upon philanthropic donations from individuals, foundations, and industry. The Center is indebted to the generous donors for supporting our work

Should you wish to donate to ‘BTF’, you may do so through the SFGH Foundation by clicking  Please be sure to enter ‘BTF’ as your designation.

You can also contact them directly, information below:
San Francisco General Hospital Foundation
2789 25th Street, Suite 2028
San Francisco, CA 94110
Tel: 415-206-4478

Thank you for your support!