ISB Grant Reports

Posted on March 29, 2015

International Travel Grant - Kenneth Smale

Having the opportunity to travel abroad for an international research stay is a high priority for many graduate students. I am a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Benoit at the University of Ottawa in Canada and thanks to the ISB, I was able to accept an invitation to study in Denmark. In June, I received an International Travel Grant from ISB and with this funding, I spent my time studying at the University of Copenhagen under the direction of Drs. Tine Alkjaer and Erik Simonsen. During my time in Denmark, I had many experiences and began collaborations that would have been able to take advantage of here in Canada. The biomechanics research unit at the University of Copenhagen has developed a unique relationship with the chief orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Krogsgaard at the nearby Bispebjerg hospital. Through this collaboration, I had a lot of access to patients who are having ACL reconstruction surgery, which allowed me to collect data on 39 participants throughout my time abroad.

On top of my data collections, I also traveled to Aalborg University to attend a musculoskeletal modeling course led by Drs. John Rasmussen and Michael Skipper Andersen. After returning from Aalborg, I attended a seminar held by the Nordic Muscle Tendon Network where I was invited to present my PhD thesis to the committee members. Finally, I also travelled to Rome in order to present at the International Society of Electromyography and Kinesiology conference. All of these opportunities enabled me to meet new people, exchange ideas and interpretations, and acquire solutions to some of my own research-related issues. For all of the above reasons and many more, I cannot express enough thanks to the ISB and their International Travel Grant program. Without their gracious support, myself and many other students would not be able to take advantage of these international research stays.
-Kenneth Smale, University of Ottowa


Matching Dissertation Grant - Dustyn Roberts

The International Society of Biomechanics Matching Dissertation Grant (MDG) gave me the opportunity to finish my PhD at New York University after giving birth to my daughter. She was born in January 2014, and although I had planned to graduate in May 2014, there were just too many loose ends to tie up with a newborn around to make that feasible. With the help of the MDG, I was able to work through the summer and graduate in September 2014.

The work that the MDG allowed me to finish up was presented at the World Congress of Biomechanics [1], the Dynamic Walking Conference [2], and ASME’s International Design Engineering Technical Conferences [3], where the submitted work won the 2014 Best Paper Award, Advanced Modeling and Simulation Technical Committee, ASME Computers and Information in Engineering Division. The MDG also funded the work directly related to a journal article that has been submitted and two others that are in preparation.

I will be forever grateful to ISB for providing the funding that was necessary to bridge the gap between my NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and my actual graduation date, and for the matching funds my advisor provided. I am now an Assistant Professor of Instruction at the University of Delaware, and the transition from student to professor would not have been nearly as smooth without the help of this grant.


[1]       D. Roberts and J. H. Kim, “Joint-space metabolic energy expenditure model with maximum cocontraction bounds,” in Proc. World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, MA, 2014.

[2]       D. Roberts, J. H. Kim, and H. Hillstrom, “Joint-space dynamic model for metabolic cost of walking,” in Proc. Dynamic Walking Conference, Zurich, Switzerland, 2014.

[3]       D. Roberts, H. Hillstrom, and J. H. Kim, “Joint-space dynamic model of metabolic cost with subject-specific energetic parameters,” in Proc. ASME Int. Design Engineering Technical Conf. and Computers and Information in Engineering Conf. (IDETC/CIE), Buffalo, NY, 2014.


Matching Dissertation Grant - Ramya Namani

The effect of variations in the morphology of the hip joint on Femoro-Acetabular Interference patterns during motion.

Femoro-Acetabular Impingement (FAI) is a clinical condition characterized by limited range of motion due to early abnormal bone-to-bone interference and is often associated with labrum and cartilage damage often leading to osteoarthritis [1]. Previous studies [2, 3] suggest that the early interference at the hip joint and FAI are due to abnormal morphology of the bones. The surgical treatment of FAI [1] attempts to restore normal femoral morphology by removing bone regions in the femoral neck and/or the acetabular rim that are believed to produce early interference. Clinical experience of this procedure indicates less than favorable post-surgical results such as persistent pain or cartilage damage often leading to Total Hip Replacements [4]. This suggests that other morphological abnormalities, in addition to the ones addressed by the surgery may be contributing to early interference. The main goals of this project are 1. To find the difference in morphological parameters and Interference patterns at the hip in normal and FAI patients and 2. To study the effect of abnormal morphological variations of the hip joint on FAI. These goals are achieved through the following methods.

Computerized Tomography (CT) images (resolution: 0.8mm*0.8mm*2mm) from seven healthy, non- symptomatic subjects and ten age-matched FAI patients were acquired. The CT images were processed through segmentation in ANALYZETM software to produce 3D numerical models of the femur and the acetabulum. Twenty seven morphological parameters representing common clinical parameters for the acetabulum, femur, and acetabulum-femur relations were measured from the 3D bone models and these morphological parameters were compared between the healthy and FAI subjects using statistical analysis based on t-test. For each subject, a 3D hip model was produced in which the assumed center of rotation of the hip was taken as the average location between the femoral head center and acetabular center. Motion of the hip model was produced and analyzed in a software environment ADAMSTM. For the simulation, boundary conditions consisted of a fixed acetabulum and a free femur to which moments were applied in various anatomical directions to simulate clinical tests of FAI [1] consisting of Flexion (100°) followed by adduction (20°) followed by internal rotation (30°-40°). An Interference Detection Algorithm (RAPIDTM) was used to detect when and where during the simulated motion contact between the proximal end of the femur and the acetabulum occurred. The interference patterns were calculated using distance maps and were compared within the subjects and between the normal and FAI subjects at each simulated position. The geometry of the 3D model was virtually changed to produce a change in each morphological parameter such as femoral shaft angle, femoral anteversion/retroversion, alpha angle and pistol grip deformity from a normal to abnormal value [2, 3]. Previously developed dynamic models were used to simulate hip motion reproducing a clinical tests for FAI [1] consisting of Flexion (100°) followed by adduction (20°) followed by internal rotation (30°). The interference patterns were calculated using distance maps and were compared before and after the morphological change were introduced.

The results indicate that common morphological parameters such as acetabular diameter, acetabular width, peak-edge distance, femoral neck length, femoral head diameter, alpha angle, and distance between two tear drops differ significantly between healthy and FAI subjects. Earlier interference is observed in the FAI subjects than in the normal subjects. This finding supports earlier studies documenting restricted range of motion in FAI. Abnormal values of morphological parameters such as femoral shaft angle, femoral retroversion, alpha angle and pistol grip deformity produced early interference. These results suggest that these parameters should be considered and evaluated as part of the individualized pre-planning of the FAI surgery.

I sincerely thank ISB for their generous support and I very much look forward to presenting my preliminary results in XXV congress of International Society of Biomechanics in Glasgow


  1. Ganz, R., et al., CORR, 417:112-20, 2003.
  2. Beck, M., et al., JBJS, 87:1012-8, 2005
  3. Tannast, M., et al., AJR, 188:1540-52, 2007
  4. Ilizalitturi, V., et al., CORR, 467:760-8, 2009


Matching Dissertation Grant - Marcos Kunzler


The travel was realized from November 03 to December 06 in Valencia, Spain. During the course of the grant, the activities I developed included:

  1. Attendance of the routine of the laboratory of biomechanics of the physical activity and sport faculty, at the University of Valencia, under supervision of Professor Pedro Soriano.
  2. Attendance of different lectures of Prof Soriano, a congress organized by his research group (GIBD) and serving as a member of the scientific committee.
  3. Visit to different laboratories in the faculty.
  4. Participation in a research developed by the GIBD, in which the purpose was to determine the differences between running wearing regular, heating and cooling socks considering temperature parameters, plantar pressure and lower extremity kinematics.
  5. Participation in a research project developed by the doctoral student Jose Priego, under supervision of Professor Rosa Cibrián, where the main purpose is to verify the correlation between temperature parameters, topography of the back and postural control in tennis players.



The main result of the travel grant was the opportunity to travel aboard, learn new things, see different cultures, and know new people, new researchers and scientific possibilities. From the participation in the scientific activities in the University of Valencia, we are now working to achieve the following results:

  1. To continue collaboration with GIBD. This grant has helped to know other research group, which has been good for strengthening our ties for future collaborations.
  2. To publish a paper addressing the differences between running using different socks considering temperature, plantar pressure and lower extremity kinematics.
  3. To publish a paper with results of postural control and postural assessment in tennis players.
  4. To submit abstracts for congress in the field of biomechanics area congress.


Finally, I would like to thank the ISB for providing me with this grant, the host professors Rosa Cibrián and Pedro Soriano for receiving me in the University of Valencia, and for giving me all the support necessary during my short stay. This experience helped me to increase my academic and also personal life. It is also important a special thanks Jose Priego for his friendship and support, for hosting me at your home and helped me to solve any problems and explaining me everything I did not know during the period I was in Valencia. Many thanks for the International Society of Biomechanics for giving this unique life experience in which I learned a lot in many different ways.

Marcos Roberto Kunzler
Federal University of Santa Maria, Center for Physical Education and Sports Applied Neuromechanics Group (GNAP)
Uruguaiana, RS, Brazil

(Felipe P Carpes, PhD)

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