Imaging, simulation and stimulation
The main objectives of the research group are to combine quantitative imaging with numerical modeling to assess the biomechanical capabilities of musculoskeletal tissue under normal and pathological healing conditions. In this context, the elastic interaction of ultrasound waves with the material is expected to promote healing.
A major aspect of our research activity is the development and application of new investigative technologies with the goal of using them to answer specific questions on musculoskeletal systems (bone, cartilage, muscle, cells). The increasing complexity of this field nowadays requires an effective interaction of various scientific disciplines. Therefore, the Q-BAM research group is composed of engineers, physicists, physicians, biologists, computer scientists and bioinformaticians, which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of musculoskeletal research. In addition, our laboratory works closely with German and international partner institutes, e.g. in the German-French research network "Ultrasound assessment of bone strength from the tissue level to the organ level".
In recent years, our group has gained a proven expertise in the field of quantitative acoustic microscopy of mineralized tissues. However, since none of the currently available experimental methods is able to capture the complex interplay of composition, structure and the resulting anisotropic elastic properties, the acoustic methods have often been used in combination with other innovative methods (synchrotron µCT, Raman spectroscopy, nanoindentation, in-vivo ultrasound, finite element analysis). The focus of the work is increasingly shifting from technological development to fundamental and medically relevant applications.
Some current issues are:
- Inferring structure and tissue elasticity of macro-, meso- and microstructure using acoustic microscopy.
- Relationships between tissue mineralization and elasticity at microscopic (lamellar) and mesoscopic (tissue) levels
- Development and validation of new ultrasound in vivo methods for non-invasive derivation of fracture-relevant bone changes in the peripheral skeleton (distal radius, proximal femur, finger phalanges)
- Influence of structure and tissue elasticity on fracture resistance after callus distraction
- Investigation of genetic influences on the "elastic bone phenotype" in a mouse model
- Development of experimentally validated numerical homogenization models to describe the elastic behavior of cortical bone