In 1988 I started my master thesis in Nijmegen at the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory (ORL). Mid 1989 I received my M.Sc. in (Bio-)Mechanical Engineering from the University of Twente.
Ever since my graduation I stayed at the ORL.
As Junior Researcher I performed various kinds of projects focussing on testing of orthopaedic implants. Most projects were funded by the Orthopaedic Industry which gradually led to an extensive network of R&D departments from small to large international orthopaedic companies. The publications of these projects resulted in my Ph.D. degree in 1995 on a thesis entitled “Biomechanical Failure Scenarios in Cemented Total Hip Replacement”.
Subsequently I was promoted to Assistant Professor and was appointed to be Director of Pre-clinical testing of joint implants. In 2003 I was further promoted to Associate Professor. In October 2007 I started a part-time appointment (1 day per week) at the University of Twente, where I have set up a research line related to clinical biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system in collaboration with my clinical colleagues at the Radboud Medical Centre. Since February 2014 I am a full professor in Biomechanical diagnostics and evaluation methods in orthopaedics at the Radboud university medical center. Since September 1st 2015, I’m chair of the ORL.
Over the last years I focused on setting up a strong research line concerning computer simulations of implants, fracture prediction of weakened bones and musculoskeletal modeling. This research line is multi-dimensional, including finite element computer simulations, experimental testing, in-vivo kinematics and musculoskeletal modeling. Currently I am coordinator of an EU-STREP (FP7) project which is aimed at predicting the functional effect of tumor surgery on the musculoskeletal system by using musculoskeletal models (see www.tlemsafe.eu ). In December 2012 I obtained a five year ERC Advance Grant which allows us to expand our work on personalized modeling of the lower extremity, see our research ‘ERC BioMechTools‘.
Clinical areas in which our group has made major contributions are: functional analysis of knee and hip (revision) patients, ligament reconstruction, computer navigation, clinical/functional effects of long bone fractures, treatment of cartilage and meniscus defects, reconstruction of bony defects around implants, fracture fixation devices, evaluation of biomaterials, improving imaging based orthopedic surgery, designing implants and developing instruments for minimal invasive surgery.
In the computer modeling area our group has contributed on topics as: the effect of muscle loads on the survival of implants, the simulation of peri-prosthetic bone remodeling, the simulation of the micro-mechanics of the cement-bone interface, the time-dependent creep and fatigue behavior of bone cement, the ingrowth process of bone into coated implants, the fracture simulation of bones that are weakened due to cancer, the kinematic behavior of knee prostheses and the sensitivity of musculoskeletal models to small changes in muscle parameters.
André Sprengers, Dr.
From 1998 to 2005 I did my bachelor and master in experimental physics at the Radboud university in Nijmegen. In 2007 I started my Ph.D. at the AMC hospital in Amsterdam on the study of complex non-periodic motion with MRI and I graduated in december 2013.
In 2012/2013 I did a postdoctoral fellowship at the university of Cambridge (UK) where I worked on Bayesian inference of raw MRI signal of trabecular bone structure. I am currently working as a postdoctoral fellow here at the orthopaedic research lab in the ERC – BioMechTools project.
As a postdoctoral reseacher, I participate in the project ‘Biomechanical Diagnostic, Pre-Planning and Outcome Tools to improve Musculoskeletal Surgery’, acronym ‘BioMechTools’. This project is funded by the ‘European Research Council, Advanced Grant’ and awarded to Prof. Dr. Ir. Nico Verdonschot. I function as project coordinator focusing on dynamic imaging of the lower extremity with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound (US). These imaging techniques will supply highly detailed information for the construction of personalized biomechanical models. With these models we aim to develop superior diagnostic and evaluation tools to quantify the degenerative status of orthopaedic patients.
Jasper Homminga, Dr. Ir.
Jasper Homminga graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, specializing in biomechanical engineering. He then continued to work on a PhD on the biomechanics of osteoporotic trabecular bone, at the Orthopedic Research Lab of the Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen.
In 2002, he received his PhD from the Technical University Eindhoven.
With the start of the educational programs Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, he was asked to join the Biomechanical Engineering group at the University Twente, which he did. At the group his research is focused mostly on biomechanics of the spine although the knee also has his interest. Next to this, he is heavily involved in the education of BioMedical Engineering, Technical Medicine, Advanced Technology, and particularly ATLAS, the University College, where he is part of the founding Core Team of teachers.
Dennis Janssen, Dr.
After attending the Hogeschool ‘s-Hertogenbosch (B.Sc. – Mechanical Engineering), the University of Twente (M.Sc. – Mechanical Engineering) and spending two internships at the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, I started my Ph.D. in July of 2002.
In April 2009 I graduated for my Ph.D. on a thesis entitled “Macro- and Micro-Mechanics of Cemented Total Hip Arthroplasty” and since then I’m working as a Researcher for the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory. Basically, the title of my PhD thesis covers my research interests. The main goal of my research is to gain more insight in the mechanical behavior of cemented total hip arthroplasty reconstructions. For instance, we have investigated the effect of implant shape and material, cement porosity and cementing philosophy on the survival of cemented reconstructions.
Recently, we have also started a collaboration with the research lab of Prof. Kenneth Mann, at the SUNY Upstate Medical University of Syracuse, New York, supported by the NIH. This research is focused on the micromechanics of the cement-bone interface. In this project, experimental work that is performed in Syracuse is combined with computational modeling, performed in Nijmegen by Daan Waanders. In 2007 I had the opportunity to spend four months at the research lab of Prof. Kenneth Mann.
Finite Element and Musculoskeletal Modelling
Hamid Naghibi-Beidokhti, M.Sc.
I completed my B.Sc. studies in Mechanical Engineering in 2009 at Ferdowsi University of Mashad (FUM), with the thesis on ‘Simulation of nonlinear Behavior of Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) using Finite Element models and investigating Vibrations in Intelligent Beams’.
Having achieved the 98th rank among the students participating in the nationwide university entrance exam for M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering, Iran, 2009, I was qualified to enter Sharif University of Technology (SUT), in the field of Applied Design-Biomechanics. I did my master thesis on ‘Designing a Total Knee Replacement (TKR) to obtain minimum wear on contact surfaces and reduce the stress shielding effect using Functionally Graded Materials (FGM) and SMA’.
In August 2013 I came to the Netherlands to continue my studies as a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Professor Nico Verdonschot. As a PhD student I am involved in ‘Biomechanical Diagnostic, Pre-Planning and Outcome Tools to improve Musculoskeletal Surgery’, acronym ‘BioMechTools’. This project is funded by a ‘European Research Council, Advanced Grant’ and awarded to Prof. Dr. Ir. Nico Verdonschot. In this collaborative project, I am in charge of finite element modelling of the lower extremity, more particularly, the knee joint.
The knee joint is one of the most complicated structures in the human body, undergoing large forces, with complicated articulations. FE modelling of the knee joint with the least simplification and limitations, in order to assess its biomechanical behaviour under different conditions in clinical implementations, is an ongoing challenge. Mathematical description of the soft tissues behaviour such as menisci, cartilages and ligaments, realistic loading conditions to be representative of daily activities, etc. are the worth-mentioning issues I am dealing with in this project. See our reserach project ‘ERC BioMechTools‘.
Due to the limitation of in-vivo measurements, in-vitro experiments are performed in order to validate my knee FE models, subsequent to which, patient-specific FE models of the knee joint are developed.
Marco Marra, M.Sc.
Having always been attracted by science and technical matters, I decided to pursue the scientific education. I chose Turin as destination for my biomedical engineering studies.
In 2011 I got my bachelor degree from Polytechnic University of Turin with an original project of a telemedicine service for prisoners. During the master I spent one year at the Royal Institute of Technology of Stockholm, studying and working on my master degree project in trauma biomechanics, which resulted in my master thesis “Study of dens fracture in the elderly, and the influence of osteoporosis with a finite element model”. After graduation in Biomedical Engineering in 2013, I decided to further enhance my knowledge in biomechanics and modelling by pursuing the doctoral studies at ORL, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
As of October 2013, I’m a Ph.D. student in the project ‘BioMechTools’ under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ir. Nico Verdonschot. My tasks focus at developing and testing an integrated modelling approach which includes both finite element and musculoskeletal patient-specific models of the active structures in the lower extremity.
One of the factors which would facilitate the introduction of musculoskeletal models into clinical practice is the fast and easy generation of personalized models. Although such methods have already been developed (see www.tlemsafe.eu ), they still fail at representing pathological cases.
The goal of my research is to develop and validate methods for the generation of an integrated patient-specific finite-element model of the lower extremity, that is able to simulate a direct interaction between muscle activation, deformation and kinematics, and can be used as a diagnostic tool for pathologies within the musculoskeletal system of the lower limb. Many challenges are present in such a task: the automated registration techniques need to be improved for representing pathological cases as well as the other relevant soft tissue aspects; muscles multi-dimensional deformation has to be captured and implemented in our integrated model. Finally, muscle contraction, dynamics and optimization strategies, tissues interaction and soft tissue deformations are all factors that increase the numerical complexity of the problem, that needs to be kept to a minimum.
Wouter Gevers, M.Sc.
I studied Biomedical Engineering at the University of Technology Eindhoven, both for my bachelor and masters. I graduated in the bio-informatics group with the development of a model describing spatio-temporal enzyme kinetics (see Publications).
Furthermore, I lived in Zürich for 4 months, doing a research internship at Uniklinik Balgrist. Since October 2013 I’m working at the ORL.
In my spare time I enjoy going out with friends or listening to and making music. I have been playing the drums since I was 11, both by meself and in bands. Besides that I try to keep in shape by doing fitness and jiujitsu.
My function within the ORL is termed Applied Mathematical Software Engineer, which in practice means I develop and implement algorithms and software used for research projects. Furthermore I assist researchers with mathematical and programming related questions. I help in maintaining the computer network at the lab, and you can also contact me for general computer-related problems. Finally, I create animations and images for big research projects and important presentations.
I completed my B.Sc. studies in Physics at the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna (Italy) in 2010.
In 2011 I moved to the Netherlands for a master in Applied Physics at the TU/e Eindhoven University of Technology. For my master thesis project I joined the Biomedical NMR group, in the department of Biomedical Engineering at TU/e. My project focused on cardiac muscle fibers evaluation using Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
As of November 2013 I am a Ph.D. student in the project BioMechTools: Biomechanical Diagnostic, Pre-Planning and Outcome Tools to improve Musculoskeletal Surgery, funded by an ERC Advanced Grant awarded to Prof. Dr. Ir. Nico Verdonschot. My task is to develop and validate MRI methods which can provide more insight into the complex dynamic of the different structures of the knee during motion tasks and loading. This research is done in collaboration with the Biomedical NMR group of Eindhoven University of Technology and the Department of Radiology of the AMC in Amsterdam. My workplace is both based in TU/e (firstname.lastname@example.org) and AMC (email@example.com).
Conventional static MRI is able to provide a vast amount of information regarding the anatomy and pathology of the musculoskeletal system. However orthopaedic patients may benefit from more advanced imaging techniques that enable the acquisition of functional information. In vivo measurements of joint loading and motion are then necessary to the understanding of joint mechanics and the effective diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal pathology. Furthermore early tissue damages could be better elucidated in dynamic conditions than in a static situation.
The goal of my research is to develop MRI based tools to visualize and evaluate the conditions of the structures of the knee, including soft tissue, under dynamic loading. We also aim to exploit dynamic MRI for evaluation of early changes in mechanical properties of tissues due to pathological conditions. These data will provide highly detailed information to be used for creating patient-specific biomechanical models. With these models we aim to develop superior diagnostic and evaluation tools to quantify the degenerative status of orthopaedic patients.
Quantification of Deformations using Ultrasound Techniques
I studied Biomedical Engineering at the University of Twente, Enschede.
In 2011 I did an internship at the Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta – Indonesia, where I adapted the design of a tibia bone plate for the Indonesian anthropology society using x-ray data. My master’s thesis focused on 3D target localization within curved objects using ultrasound, this research was done within the group of Biomechanical Engineering in collaboration with the Robotics and Mechatronics group.
As of October 2013, I’m a PhD-student in the project ‘Biomechanical Diagnostic, Pre-Planning and Outcome Tools to improve Musculoskeletal Surgery’, acronym ‘BioMechTools’. This project is funded by the ‘European Research Council, Advanced Grant’ and awarded to Prof. Dr. Ir. Nico Verdonschot. My task is to develop ultrasound diagnostic tools which can visualize the deformation of soft tissues within the lower extremities. This research is done in collaboration with the ‘Medical UltraSound Imaging Center‘ (MUSIC) of Chris de Korte.
The aetiology of many musculoskeletal diseases is related to biomechanical factors. However, the tools to assess the biomechanical condition of the patient used by clinicians and researchers are often crude and subjective. Nevertheless, treatment and rehabilitation options are based on these assessments which lead to non-optimal patient care, inefficient use of the health care system and inferior research capabilities. For details see our ‘ERC BioMechTools‘ project
The goal of my research is to develop ultrasound based tools to quantify the conditions of soft tissue within the lower extremities under dynamic loading. These imaging techniques will supply highly detailed information for the construction of personalized biomechanical models. With these models we aim to develop superior diagnostic and evaluation tools to quantify the degenerative status of orthopaedic patients.
The Ambulant Gait Analysis System and the Ultrasound-based Kinematic Analysis System