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Biomechanical Engineering

The Biomechanical Engineering group (generally known by its Dutch abbreviation, BW) carries out research concerning the treatment of impaired interaction between nerves and skeletal muscles. The group tries to gain insights into the mechanical operation of the body’s motor system and to represent these insights in the form of models. The researchers also study the effect of operations on the skeleton.

Testing the properties of a scoliosis implant (metal rod)

BW designed and produced a super elastic implant for patients with scoliosis, a medical condition involving abnormal curvature of the spine. The implant limits the further development of the curvature while still guaranteeing mobility of the back. Since the implant fuses with the vertebrae in the course of time, it will have to be replaced after a number of years in younger patients. BW is currently developing a new type of implant that does not fuse with the vertebrae so that it can be used throughout the patient’s life.

A girl is regaining her walking abilities in LOPES.

BW’s results can also be put to good use in medical applications aimed at improving bodily stability. For example, researchers from the group developed the advanced robot trainer LOPES, designed to help patients to walk again after a stroke. Long training sessions with the robot can achieve the desired mobility earlier than without its aid, while cutting down the time physicians need to spend on the case.

Full chair:Prof. dr. H.F.J.M. (Bart) Koopman 
Office manager: E.J. (Lianne) Bode-Bode  

For more information about Biomechanical Engineering, visit the homepage of this research group.