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Biomedical Faculty Entrepreneurial Mindset in Motion…

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LTU wins $40,000 grant for entrepreneurial education

Assistant Professor Eric Meyer of Lawrence Technological University (LTU) is the principal investigator for a $40,000 grant to foster the entrepreneurial mindset through the development of multidisciplinary engineering learning modules based in part on the “Quantified Self” social movement.

Eric and Mansoor

LTU Assistant Professor Mansoor Nasir, who teaches in the biomedical engineering program with Meyer, is the co-principal investigator. Faculty at Western New England University and Kettering University will collaborate on the research project.

The grant is from the Kern Family Foundation of Waukesha, Wisc. LTU is a member of the Kern Entrepreneur Education Network (KEEN).

The consumer electronics industry is rapidly introducing new sensors and data-logging systems that enable individuals to gain insights into their personal health and wellness through quantification and tracking of a variety of biomedical measures. Social networks such as Facebook and the fitness industry are also embracing the opportunities created by the “Quantified Self” social movement, according to Meyer.

The Kern Foundation grant will support the development of class modules that draw on “Quantified Self” metrics while focusing on the entrepreneurial skills of opportunity, problem definition, and communication. Innovative teaching best practice techniques of Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL) and Problem/Project Based Learning (PBL) will be used to develop multi-disciplinary, multi-level modules that address many of KEEN’s desired outcomes for students.

“This proposal aims to introduce these exciting trends to students at various academic levels of engineering undergraduate programs,” Meyer said.

Meyer is creating a module for his spring semester course, Biomedical Best Practices, and. Nasir is creating a module for his spring semester course, “Biomedical Device Design, which is related to this topic and entrepreneurial engineering. They will measure the impact on students through quizzes and surveys before and after the modules. During the summer Meyer and Nasir will work with professors at Kettering, and Western New England universities to create additional modules related to this topic that would be introduced in other courses (by corner). The courses will be designed for all four undergraduate years and will cover mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and physiology courses. “We will then take the data from the different courses and all the modules that were developed and share that information with KEEN members and at conferences,” Meyer said.

Once again we say…Welcome Back

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Front row: Interim Director Dr.Elin Jensen, Faculty Yawen Li, 2ndRow Administrative support Bridgett Bailiff, Faculty Dr. Eric Meyer, Dr. Mansoor Nasir, and Dr. Jeff Morrissette

The biomedical engineering and life science faculty have been busy this past summer implementing new activities and opportunities for our freshman through senior students.  Returning students have noticed that room E108 – Bioinstrumentation Lab now has a new look.  The biomechanics gait analysis laboratory has secured funding from the DENSO Foundation to support research in human and machine interaction (see story on page xx).  We are very excited about this collaboration with the electrical engineering and robotic engineering programs.  Freshman students are enjoying working in the new collaboration space in room E109.   When you are on your way to the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope or the BioMEMS laboratories, stop by to check out the new learning environment.

The Life Science Advisory Board welcomes two new members.  Mrs. Janelle Schrot from Materilize (MIMICS suite) and Dr. Ren You from Terumo Heart Inc. We look forward to working with these members and organizations as we continue to improve and expand the biomedical engineering program.

Finally, the biomedical engineering program thanks all the students and alumni who accepted the invitation to participate in the focus group meetings in the spring semester.  The focus groups provided valuable input on the needs and expectations of program graduates.  The biomedical engineering program educational objectives articulate the expected capabilities of graduates 3 to 5 years after graduation and they are:

  1. Graduates of the BSBME program apply foundational sciences and a wide range of engineering principles in order to lead cross-functional teams developing, designing, and verifying the function of medical technologies and services.   
  2.  Graduates of the BSBME program conduct translational biomedical engineering research while adhering to government compliance requirements and regulatory protocols.
  3.  Graduates of the BSBME program exhibit and demand the highest ethical and safety standards in their research and profession.
  4.  Graduates of the BSBME program are contributing members of the profession and society, and stay informed of current research and professional developments through advanced graduate studies and life-long education.

Enjoy your fall semester and your journey in discovering Lawrence Technological University!

BME Newsletter April 2013

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Footwear Properties and Football Injuries

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FootwareExcessive rotational traction that occurs at the interface between the shoe and the playing surface, as well as shoe properties such as rotational stiffness, may have the potential to influence the high incidence of lower extremity injuries in athletes.

By Feng Wei, PhD, and Eric G. Meyer, PhD

American football is one of the most popular sports in the United States. In 2010 more than 1.1 million male high school athletes from more than 14,000 high schools and more than 66,000 male collegiate athletes played football. Participation in high school football has been continuously increasing, with more than 100,000 additional participants (a 12.2% increase) between 1997 and 2007. Football is also a leading cause of sports-related injuries. Out of all high school sports, football has the highest overall injury rate, almost twice that of basketball. Reports estimate that more than 300,000 high school athletes sustain football-related injuries annually…read more. Dr. Meyer

WJR 760 Talk about Lawrence Tech BME Program

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Check out the following podcast by WJR, the local radio station from December 3, 2012. They discuss Biomedical Engineering as a fast growing major at Lawrence Tech. Dr. Li describes her research with ACL tissue engineering.

Listen Here

Dr. Meyer Publishes a Chapter in Book

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The Knee: Current Concepts in Kinematics, Injury Types, and Treatment Options

Editors: Randy Mascarenhas (University of Manitoba, Canada)

Book Description:
Knee injuries are common occurrences that affect the young active population and can lead to subsequent long term joint degeneration. This book provides an overview of current research examining knee injury mechanisms, prevention, and treatment options. Detailed discussions are included related to current treatment options for ACL injury, PCL injury, meniscal tears, patellofemoral instability, and combined knee pathology. Additionally, current advances in tissue engineering in ACL reconstruction and results following transphyseal ACL reconstruction in adolescents are examined. Furthermore, biomechanical studies and computerized modeling techniques are highlighted as methods for determining the mechanisms and sequelae of knee injuries, thus aiding in the development

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of injury prevention programs. (Imprint: Nova Biomedical)

Chapter 1. Biomechanical Response of the Knee in Sports Injury Scenarios
(Eric G. Meyer and Roger C. Haut)

International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Impact Conference

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Dr. Meyer recently presented his research at the International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Impact Conference in Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract: High ankle sprains represent a severe injury in sports. External foot rotation is suspected in these cases, but the mechanism of injury remains unclear. The objective of the current study was to integrate in vitro and in vivo experiments along with computational models based on rigid bone surfaces and deformable ligaments of the ankle to investigate the external foot rotation injury mechanism with different shoe constraints and ankle positioning. Injuries and the highest strains occurred in the anterior deltoid ligament (ADL) when the foot was held in neutral with athletic tape. Similarly, ADL strains were highest when a football shoe design with a high rotational stiffness was used to constrain the foot. For a flexible shoe, the anterior tibiofibular ligament (ATiFL) strain was increased and ATiFL injury occurred due to increased talar eversion. In human subjects performing a similar movement, the highest strains also occurred in the ATiFL and ADL. The models showed that ATiFL strain was positively correlated with ankle eversion, but eversion decreased strain in the ADL. Finally, the consequence of eversion on ATiFL strain was confirmed in the first cadaver study that consistently generated high ankle sprains in the laboratory.

Read more!

Eversion during external rotation of the human cadaver foot produces high ankle sprains

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Dr. Meyer’s paper published in September’s issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research

While high ankle sprains are often clinically ascribed to excessive external foot rotation, no experimental study documents isolated anterior tibiofibular ligament (ATiFL) injury under this loading. We hypothesized that external rotation of a highly everted foot would generate ATiFL injury, in contrast to deltoid ligament injury from external rotation of a neutral foot. Twelve (six pairs) male cadaveric lower extremity limbs underwent external foot rotation until gross failure. All limbs were positioned in 20° of dorsiflexion and restrained with elastic athletic tape. Right limbs were in neutral while left limbs were everted 20°. Talus motion relative to the tibia was measured using motion capture. Rotation at failure for everted limbs (46.8 ± 6.1°) was significantly greater than for neutral limbs (37.7 ± 5.4°). Everted limbs showed ATiFL injury only, while neutral limbs mostly demonstrated deltoid ligament failure. This is the first biomechanical study to produce isolated ATiFL injury under external foot rotation. Eversion of the axially loaded foot predisposes the ATiFL to injury, forming a basis for high ankle sprain. The study helps clarify a mechanism of high ankle sprain and may heighten clinical awareness of isolated ATiFL injury in cases of foot eversion prior to external rotation. It may also provide guidance to investigate the effect of prophylactic measures for this injury. © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 30:1423–1429, 2012

Click here to view paper

Rotational Stiffness of Football Shoes Influences Talus Motion during External Rotation of the Foot

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Published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering

Authors: Wei F., Dr. Meyer E. G., Braman J. E., Powell J. W., & Haut R. C.

Shoe-surfaceinterface characteristics have been implicated in the high incidence ofankle injuries suffered by athletes. Yet, the differences in rotationalstiffness among shoes may also influence injury risk. It washypothesized that shoes with different rotational stiffness will generate differentpatterns of ankle ligament strain. Four football shoe designs weretested and compared in terms of rotational stiffness. Twelve (sixpairs) male cadaveric lower extremity limbs were externally rotated 30deg using two selected football shoe designs, i.e., a flexibleshoe and a rigid shoe. Motion capture was performed totrack the movement of the talus with a reflective markerarray screwed into the bone. A computational ankle model wasutilized to input talus motions for the estimation of ankleligament strains. At 30 deg of rotation, the rigid shoegenerated higher ankle joint torque at 46.2 ± 9.3 Nm than theflexible shoe at 35.4 ± 5.7 Nm. While talus rotation was greaterin the rigid shoe (15.9 ± 1.6 deg versus 12.1 ± 1.0 deg), theflexible shoe generated more talus eversion (5.6 ± 1.5 deg versus 1.2±0.8 deg). While these talus motions resulted in the samelevel of anterior deltoid ligament strain (approxiamtely 5%) between shoes,there was a significant increase of anterior tibiofibular ligament strain(4.5± 0.4% versus 2.3 ± 0.3%) for the flexible versus more rigidshoe design. The flexible shoe may provide less restraint tothe subtalar and transverse tarsal joints, resulting in more eversionbut less axial rotation of the talus during foot/shoe rotation.The increase of strain in the anterior tibiofibular ligament mayhave been largely due to the increased level of taluseversion documented for the flexible shoe. There may be adirect correlation of ankle joint torque with axial talus rotation,and an inverse relationship between torque and talus eversion. Thestudy may provide some insight into relationships between shoe designand ankle ligament strain patterns. In future studies, these datamay be useful in characterizing shoe design parameters and balancingpotential ankle injury risks with player performance.

J. Biomech. Eng.  — April 2012 —  Volume 134,  Issue 4, 041002 (7 pages)

Good Sports

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Students support a professor’s research to find ways to reduce injuries.

Lawrence Tech senior Samantha Hutson works with Assistant Professor Eric Meyer on her directed study in the biomechanics of the knee.

Sports-related injuries – typically to the knee and ankle – represent an estimated 10 to 19 percent of all injuries treated in emergency rooms. For some athletes, such injuries can signal the end of a season or, in severe cases, even a career.

For half a century crash test dummies and computer simulations have been used to save lives and prevent injuries in automobile accidents. Using a newly developed three-dimensional computer model of the ankle, researchers at Lawrence Tech are applying the same methods to understand and prevent sports injuries.

“This type of simulation is very appealing for modeling experiments because it is relatively easy to make modifications to the anatomy and geometry to investigate many different questions about how certain motions/forces produce ligament sprains in sports situations,” explained lead researcher Eric Meyer, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.

“By applying these results through working with equipment manufacturers and sports governing bodies, we hope to turn the tide for serious knee and ankle injuries in athletes, so that everyone can increase their enjoyment of sports.”

The researchers are studying anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears in the knee and high ankle sprains – two of the most severe sports injuries at those joints. ACLs are one of the most popular topics for research, but the injury mechanism remains beset by many unknowns and therefore prevention strategies have had only limited success so far, Dr. Meyer noted.

“High ankle sprains have had only limited attention, but there are high-profile cases, such as Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game in January, that follow our hypothesis for why this injury happened,” he said. “A major factor that could be addressed through engineering is designing the shoes or artificial surface to a certain injury threshold.”

Two senior biomedical engineering students are working on directed-study projects related to this research. Brian Figueiredo began the development of a computational model of the whole human lower extremity last summer, by isolating the bones of the leg and foot from CT images and reconstructing them into a 3D CAD model.

Student Samantha Hutson is adding realistic ligaments to the knee joint so that the researchers can use this model to simulate dynamic experiments that investigate various ligament sprain injury mechanisms in cadaver knees.

“Having a model that will function realistically like the knee joint is important because it gives us all more knowledge on the different movements of the ligaments during an injury. That knowledge allows us to find solutions to prevent injury or lessen the damage in the injury,” said Hutson, who is finishing up dual majors in biomedical and electrical engineering.

Hutson said she would like to work in tissue engineering and help in the search for ways ameliorate knee injuries and reduce the need for knee replacements. Her directed study with Meyer should be a step toward that career goal.

Meyer will be presenting at a sportsinjury conference in Dublin in September about different ways that his research team has used a similar ankle model to simulate many sports situations. The team has built six subject-specific ankle models using this approach and has submitted a paper to the software developer Materalise for its MIMICS Innovation Awards.

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