Computation in the Surgical Suite: Modeling Crouch Gait for Orthopedic Decision Making

Building surgeons' confidence

They say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. But what your pediatric surgeon doesn’t know certainly can hurt your child. An orthopedist who recommends that a child with cerebral palsy undergo hamstring surgery to correct a gait problem, for example, often can’t be sure if the procedure will make things better, or worse.


Mobilizing Big Data to Understand Mobility

In a win-win for patients and researchers, big biomechanics data has arrived.

One rainy day in the late 1990s, a biomechanics doctoral student stood sopping at the street corner, hoping his research participant would arrive for her gait analysis. “It was the third time she stood me up. I was sick and tired of waiting for people to come to me,” says Reed Ferber, PhD, recalling his graduate years at the University of Oregon.

Preventing ACL Injury: Using OpenSim to Find Effective Training Interventions

Last January, the Australian women’s hockey team and the University of Western Australia came together to develop and implement a training program to prevent knee injuries—specifically those to the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. The regimen was primarily aimed at strengthening the women’s hip and trunk musculature because upper body mechanics seem to affect knee loading during sports activities, according to preliminary simulation research (using OpenSim) by Cyril (Jon) Donnelly, PhD, a lecturer at the University of Western Australia (UWA).

The Eyes Have It: Biomechanical Models Explore Disorders of the Eye

Biomechanical models contribute to a better understanding of both the normal and the diseased eye.

Squint, and you can almost  make out that bird soaring over the horizon. But determining whether it’s a hawk or a raven will be nearly impossible for someone with myopia, also known as nearsightedness. In this common condition, light focuses on a spot in front of, rather than on, the retina. Eyeglasses can correct the defect, as can refractive surgery in which a lens-shaped portion of the cornea—the outer layer of the eye in front of the pupil—is removed in a precise way, pushing the focus back to the retina.


Follow the Money: Big Grants in Biomedical Computing

The clear winner: Big Data


Several biomedical computing projects received big money in the fall of 2012. If there’s one clear winner, it’s “Big Data”: three of the grants focus on building new computational infrastructure and tools for dealing with massive biological datasets. A fourth grant focuses on building new tools for multiscale modeling.


Journey to the NIH: Insights and Inspirations from the 2012 NCBC Showcase

Postdocs get a glance at the entire field and their first inside view of NIH grant-making

If he were a graduate student now, Francis Collins would be studying computational biology. That’s what the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) told a rapt audience at the November 2012 National Centers for Biomedical Computing (NCBC) Showcase. The field of computational biology is “raining opportunities,” Collins said.


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