Biomechanics of the Spine
The goals of our spine research are to better understand injuries and diseases affecting the bony structures and intervertebral discs of the spine. In order to propose and design novel implants and operational techniques that target degeneration, pathology, and deformity of the spinal elements, we perform a variety of basic research. We work closely with orthopaedic, neuro and trauma surgeons, allowing us to pursue the most clinically relevant projects. For our research, we have designed several spine simulators, with which we are able to independently assess physiological movement. Finite Element studies as well as animal experiments are continuously implemented to support our overarching goals. Moreover, we also possess the equipment necessary to examine high impact injuries, including those elicited from car crashes. Currently, the scope of several EU and DFG projects is to provoke and understand failure of intact or treated spinal structures under worst-case scenarios.
EU and DFG projects involve the interconnectivity between degenerations of various spinal elements and their resulting influence on fractures and disc injuries. Other projects target prevention and treatment of osteoporotic fractures and spinal deformities due to degeneration in elder patients. Some of the studies are performed in cooperation with industrial partners.