Biomechanics (spine, lower limbs); Mutiphysics (cartilage, intervertebral disc, artery); Biophysics (intervertebral disc nutrition, cytokines); Computational analyses (finite element element, numerical optimisations, stochastic modelling); In vitro experiments (dynamic culture, tissue/biomaterial mechanical characterisation)
Research in the group of Biomechanics and Mechanobiology focuses mainly on (i) the interactions between tissue multiphysics and biological processes, and (ii) how these interactions can affect the functional biomechanics of organs. Numerical methods based mostly but not exclusively on FE modelling are used to describe both the tissues at the organ level, and the tissue-cell interactions at the tissue and cellular levels. The numerical concepts developed are tested against in vivo and in vitro data, which allows model validations. Emphasis is given in the study of load transfer of organ conditions onto the cells or onto tissues, with or without treatment simulations. Calculations are based on mechano-regulation and/or on biophysical concepts to predict different cell environments over time.
Most tissue and biophysical models developed so far aimed to study one of the most complex organs of the musculoskeletal system, namely the spine. Thorough knowledge about the functional biomechanics of the lumbar spine has been acquired along the time in relation to computational simulations (J Biomech, 40, 2414-25; Biomech Model Mechanobiol, 10, 203-19). In order to capture as best as possible the communications between organ and tissue biomechanics, studies of advanced tissue models have been performed, in relation to the vertebrae (Mater Lett, 78, 154-58), to the intervertebral discs (J Mech Behav Biomed Mater, 4, 124-41; Comput Meth Biomech Biomed Engin, 16, 923-8) and to the muscles (J Biomech, 45, S484).
In particular, these models allowed thorough identification of the tissue parameters expected to alter cell nutrition in a deforming intervertebral disc (PLoS Comput Biol, 7, e1002112), leading to further relations between tissue condition and cell viability (Poromechanics V, 2193-2201). Care is also taken to assess the physical meaning of the tissue model parameters, and the mechanistic aspect of the simulation work is supported by both stochastic modelling and bioreactor experiments.
The numerical stability of these models is also one target of the explorations performed within the group (J Mech Behav Biomed Mater, 26, 1-10), in order to ensure the coupling to lower scale biophysical models. Also, models have been used to for implant simulations focussed either on clinical (J Appl Biomat Biomech, 4, 135-42), or on design questions (Eur Spine J, 21, S675-87). Beyond the spine domain, both knowledge and know-how acquired are being transferred to the exploration of the cardiovascular system. Also, on-going clinical collaborations are contributing to the adaptation of the numerical methods to study problems and treatment solutions related to the lower limbs (J Biomech, 45, S163).
The newsletter of the VPH-Share EU project contains an article in which Jérôme is interviewed about the MySpine project.
Some of the group’s latest published work has been featured by the software company SIMPLEWARE.
Andrea Malandrino, a postdoc in IBEC’s Biomechanics and Mechanobiology group, will spend two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship.
Research on muscle modelling at IBEC’s BMMB group rewarded twice!
Themis Toumanidou, PhD candidate in the BMMB group, has been recently rewarded with the best scientific contribution to the Third Annual Meeting of the Spanish Chapter of the ESB. Themis is working on the development of a muscle constitutive model that is able to act as a strain-activated motor, helping the deformation imposed to the fascicles, as it is necessary to generate voluntary motions. The model has been coupled to a finite element model of the lumbar spine, and has shown its ability to interact with the fluid pressurization simulated in the intervertebral disc, leading to the calculation of intradiscal pressure values close to those measured in vivo. She had already won the prize for the best flash presentation at the 2013 IBEC Symposium.
Yesterday the III Spanish Chapter Meeting of the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) was celebrated and organized by the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). The event took place at the Parc Científic de Barcelona (PCB) and hosted 60 people from research centres, hospitals and universities throughout Spain.
UPC’s new BIOMEC group to boost collaborative research
In July the UPC’s governing council approved the creation of two new research groups, one of which involves IBEC’s Biomechanics and Mechanobiology researcher Jérôme Noailly as one of the founding researchers. The new Biomechanics Engineering (BIOMEC) group at the UPC, led by Josep Maria Font and supported by IBEC researchers, is concerned with the integration of the biomechanics of human movement to tissue scale biomechanics. In such a context, the aim is to create a network of researchers who focus their research in biomechanics from different perspectives. For example, while the biomechanics of human movement is a strong field of expertise of the team of Josep Maria Font at UPC, tissue mechanics and multiphysics is that of Jérôme Noailly’s team at IBEC. Indeed, the co-direction of student projects that spread among these two disciplines has already started through an integrated study of the biomechanical rationales subjacent to the problem of juvenile coxarthrosis. Such a project links two important disciplines resectively related to “external” and “internal” biomechanics, and establishes a first template to link together particular body functions and tissue conditions including biophysical regulation aspects. “Through the creation of the BIOMEC group we are also starting a common program of research seminars, and the next step is to ask for common grants,” explains Jérôme Noailly, Senior Research Associate in IBEC’s BMMB group. “We plan to have common PhD students that can have both affiliations too.”
“Technology transfer in computational biomechanics: from concept to clinics”
The group has produced a poster to explain their technology transfer activities.
BMMB group to host next ESB Spanish Chapter meeting
The BMMB group will be co-organising and hosting the third meeting of the Spanish National Chapter of the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) at IBEC on 23rd-24th October 2013. The meeting itself will take place on the 24th, while the 23th will be dedicated to the organization of three additional courses related to biomechanical modeling for patients. The Spanish National Chapter was created in 2011, and the first and second Chapter meetings were held in Zaragoza and Seville. In addition to the scientific quality of the papers presented, these two events marked important guidelines: the first meeting elected the first Executive Committee, of which Jérôme Noailly is a member, and the second set up awards to recognize the scientific quality of the work of the chapter members. In line with previous meetings, the goals of the 2013 meeting are: • To present the work of different Spanish groups in the field of biomechanics; • To promote the National Chapter and the ESB to other Spanish groups working in biomechanics; • To support the creation of partnerships between different groups in Spain; • To serve as mediator for doctors and clinical professionals who are interested in biomechanics; • To present the progress and new initiatives from the Executive Committee and collect the opinions of the Chapter members to establish a roadmap for the coming year. The deadline for submission of abstracts is September 19th. More information is available at http://capituloesb.ibecbarcelona.eu.
The Biomechanics and Mechanobiology group is offering 4 positions for the completion of master projects at IBEC
The IBEC-coordinated European project MySpine, which reached its midpoint at the end of August, received a positive appraisal at its first Annual Review in Brussels in June.
The European Research Media Center’s website, youris.com, features an article about the MySpine project, which is coordinated by IBEC group leader Damien Lacroix.
The misery of lower back pain is, unfortunately, all too familiar to many people. Now researchers have taken a big step towards understanding one of the most common and debilitating complaints in the industrialized world, with results that could help to predict the onset of disc degeneration.
The Biomechanics and Mechanobiology group’s work and Damien Lacroix’s recent ERC grant is the subject of an article in this month’s Teraflop, the magazine of the Centre de Serveis Científics i Acadèmics de Catalunya (CESCA).
Biomechanics and mechanobiology group leader Damien Lacroix has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for his research on finite element simulations of mechanobiology in tissue engineering.
The kick-off meeting of one of IBEC’s EU projects, MySpine, is taking place at the institute this week. The consortium partners from the Netherlands, Austria, France, Spain and Hungary have gathered to outline the work packages for ‘Functional prognosis simulation of patient-specific spinal treatment’ and discuss the plans for the next six months.
An interview with Biomechanics and mechanobiology group leader Damien Lacroix about the new EU-project he coordinates, MySpine, has been broadcast on Ràdio 4’s L’Observatori programme.
EU-funded project aims to improve treatment and prognosis of spinal diseases
Dr. Damien Lacroix, head of the research line Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of IBEC, has been elected president of the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB). Damien Lacroix has belonged to the ESB since 1999, and been part of the council since 2004. He is author of 27 articles in specialized journals and has participated in more than 80 conferences.
Damien Lacroix, group leader in research on Biomechanics and Mecanobiology at IBEC (Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia) has been awarded a prize by the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) for his innovative contributions in the field of biomaterials.
|My Spine: Functional prognosis simulation of patient-specfic spinal treatment for clinical use||EU – Cooperation – FP7-ICT||Jérôme Noailly|
Olivares, Andy L., González Ballester, Miguel A., Noailly, J., (2016). Virtual exploration of early stage atherosclerosis Bioinformatics 32, (24), 3798-3806
Wills, C. R., Malandrino, A., Van Rijsbergen, M., Lacroix, D., Ito, K., Noailly, J., (2016). Simulating the sensitivity of cell nutritive environment to composition changes within the intervertebral disc Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 90, 108-123
Carrera, I., Gelber, P. E., Chary, G., González-Ballester, M. A., Monllau, J. C., Noailly, J., (2016). Fixation of a split fracture of the lateral tibial plateau with a locking screw plate instead of cannulated screws would allow early weight bearing: a computational exploration International Orthopaedics , 40, (10), 2163-2169
Toumanidou, Themis, Noailly, J., (2015). Musculoskeletal modeling of the lumbar spine to explore functional interactions between back muscle loads and intervertebral disk multiphysics Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 3, 111
Malandrino, Andrea, Pozo, Jose Maria, Castro-Mateos, Isaac, Frangi, Alejandro F., van Rijsbergen, Marc M., Ito, Keita, Wilke, Hans-Joachim, Dao, Tien Tuan, Ho Ba Tho, Marie-Christine, Noailly, Jerome, (2015). On the relative relevance of subject-specific geometries and degeneration-specific mechanical properties for the study of cell death in human intervertebral disc models Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 3, (Article 5), 1-15
Malandrino, Andrea, Lacroix, Damien, Hellmich, Christian, Ito, Keita, Ferguson, Stephen J., Noailly, J., (2014). The role of endplate poromechanical properties on the nutrient availability in the intervertebral disc Osteoarthritis and Cartilage , 22, (7), 1053-1060
Malandrino, A., Noailly, J., Lacroix, D., (2014). Numerical exploration of the combined effect of nutrient supply, tissue condition and deformation in the intervertebral disc Journal of Biomechanics 47, (6), 1520-1525
Sánchez Egea, Antonio J., Valera, Marius, Parraga Quiroga, Juan Manuel, Proubasta, Ignasi, Noailly, J., Lacroix, Damien, (2014). Impact of hip anatomical variations on the cartilage stress: A finite element analysis towards the biomechanical exploration of the factors that may explain primary hip arthritis in morphologically normal subjects Clinical Biomechanics , 29, (4), 444-450
Malandrino, A., Lacroix, D., Noailly, J., (2014). Exploring the link between mechanical load and cell death in the invertebral disc: A theoretical study of mechno-regulated hypermetabolism and metabolic transport Bone & Joint Journal Orthopaedic Proceedings Supplement 8th Combined Meeting Of Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS) , The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery (Venice, Italy) 96-B, (Supp. 11), 18
Noailly, J., Malandrino, A., Galbusera, F., Jin, Zhongmin, (2014). Computational modelling of spinal implants Computational Modelling of Biomechanics and Biotribology in the Musculoskeletal System (ed. Jin, Z.), Woodhead Publishing (Cambridge, UK) Biomaterials and Tissues, 447-484
Barreto, S., Clausen, C. H., Perrault, C. M., Fletcher, D. A., Lacroix, D., (2013). A multi-structural single cell model of force-induced interactions of cytoskeletal components Biomaterials 34, (26), 6119-6126
Ruiz, C., Noailly, J., Lacroix, D., (2013). Material property discontinuities in intervertebral disc porohyperelastic finite element models generate numerical instabilities due to volumetric strain variations Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials , 26, 1-10
Malandrino, Andrea, Noailly, J., Lacroix, Damien, (2013). Regional annulus fibre orientations used as a tool for the calibration of lumbar intervertebral disc finite element models Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering , 16, (9), 923-928
Malandrino, A., Lacroix, D., Noailly, J., (2013). Intervertebral disc cell death explained by metabolism-deformation couplings in a porohyperelastic finite element model Poromechanics V 5th Biot Conference on Poromechanics , American Society of Civil Engineers (Vienna, Austria) , 2193-2201
Olivares, A. L., Lacroix, D., (2013). Computational methods in the modeling of scaffolds for tissue engineering Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials (ed. Gefen, A.), Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Heidelberg, Germany) 10, 107-126
Olivares, O. , Lacroix, D., (2012). Simulation of cell seeding within a three-dimensional porous scaffold: A fluid-particle analysis Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods , 18, (8), 624-631
Malandrino, A., Fritsch, A., Lahayne, O., Kropik, K., Redl, H., Noailly, J., Lacroix, D., Hellmich, C., (2012). Anisotropic tissue elasticity in human lumbar vertebra, by means of a coupled ultrasound-micromechanics approach Materials Letters , 78, 154-158
Noailly, Jérôme, Ambrosio, Luigi, Elizabeth Tanner, K., Planell, Josep, Lacroix, Damien, (2012). In silico evaluation of a new composite disc substitute with a L3–L5 lumbar spine finite element model European Spine Journal , 21, (5), 675-687
Olivares, A.L., Perrault, C.M., Lacroix, D., (2012). Cell seeding optimization in 3D scaffold under dynamic condition: Computational and experimental methods The Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on CMBBE 10th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering , ARUP (Berlin, Germany) SS12: In silico modelling of the spinal disc degeneration, 906-911
Toumanidou, T., Fortuny, G., Lacroix, D., Noailly, J., (2012). Constitutive modelling of the lumbar spine musculature The Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on CMBBE 10th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering , ARUP (Berlin, Germany) SS12: In silico modelling of the spinal disc degeneration, 693-699
Ruiz, C., Noailly, J., Lacroix, D., (2012). Material discontinuities create fluid flow instabilities in intervertebral disc poroelastic finite element models The Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on CMBBE 10th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering , ARUP (Berlin, Germany) SS12: In silico modelling of the spinal disc degeneration, 142-147
Malandrino, A., Noailly, J., Lacroix, D., (2012). Mechanical effect on metabolic transport and cell viability in the intervertebral disc The Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on CMBBE 10th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering , ARUP (Berlin, Germany) SS12: In silico modelling of the spinal disc degeneration, 248-253
Noailly, J., Lacroix, D., (2012). Finite element modelling of the spine Biomaterials for Spinal Surgery - Part I: Fundamentals of Biomaterials for Spinal Surgery (ed. Ambrosio, L., Tanner, K. E.), Woodhead Publishing Ltd (Cambridge, UK) , 144-232
Melchels, Ferry P. W., Tonnarelli, Beatrice, Olivares, Andy L., Martin, Ivan, Lacroix, Damien, Feijen, Jan, Wendt, David J., Grijpma, Dirk W., (2011). The influence of the scaffold design on the distribution of adhering cells after perfusion cell seeding Biomaterials 32, (11), 2878-2884
Malandrino, Andrea, Noailly, Jerome, Lacroix, Damien, (2011). The effect of sustained compression on oxygen metabolic transport in the intervertebral disc decreases with degenerative changes PLoS Computational Biology Plos Computational Biology , 7, (8), 1-12
Bohner, M., Loosli, Y., Baroud, G., Lacroix, D., (2011). Commentary: Deciphering the link between architecture and biological response of a bone graft substitute Acta Biomaterialia 7, (2), 478-484
Sandino, Clara, Lacroix, Damien, (2011). A dynamical study of the mechanical stimuli and tissue differentiation within a CaP scaffold based on micro-CT finite element models Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 10, (4), 565-576
Noailly, Jérôme, Planell, Josep, Lacroix, Damien, (2011). On the collagen criss-cross angles in the annuli fibrosi of lumbar spine finite element models Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 10, (2), 203-219
Galbusera, F., Schmidt, H., Noailly, J., Malandrino, A., Lacroix, D., Wilke, H.J, Shirazi-Adl, A., (2011). Comparison of four methods to simulate swelling in poroelastic finite element models of intervertebral discs Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials , 4, (7), 1234-1241
Byrne, Damien P., Lacroix, Damien, Prendergast, Patrick J., (2011). Simulation of fracture healing in the tibia: Mechanoregulation of cell activity using a lattice modeling approach Journal of Orthopaedic Research , 29, (10), 1496-1503
Lacroix, Damien, Ramirez Patino, Juan Fernando, (2011). Finite Element Analysis of Donning Procedure of a Prosthetic Transfemoral Socket Annals of Biomedical Engineering , 39, (12), 2972-2983
Santoro, R., Olivares, A. L., Brans, G., Wirz, D., Longinotti, C., Lacroix, D., Martin, I., Wendt, D., (2010). Bioreactor based engineering of large-scale human cartilage grafts for joint resurfacing Biomaterials 31, (34), 8946-8952
Sandino, C., Checa, S., Prendergast, P. J., Lacroix, D., (2010). Simulation of angiogenesis and cell differentiation in a CaP scaffold subjected to compressive strains using a lattice modeling approach Biomaterials 31, (8), 2446-2452
Milan, J. L., Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., (2010). Simulation of bone tissue formation within a porous scaffold under dynamic compression Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 9, (5), 583-596
Koch, M. A., Vrij, E. J., Engel, E., Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., (2010). Perfusion cell seeding on large porous PLA/calcium phosphate composite scaffolds in a perfusion bioreactor system under varying perfusion parameters Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A , 95A, (4), 1011-1018
Prendergast, P. J., Checa, S., Lacroix, D., (2010). Computational models of tissue differentiation Computational Modeling in Biomechanics (ed. Suvranu De, Farshid Guilak, Mohammad R. K. Mofrad), Springer-Verlag Berlin (Berlin) 3, 353-372
Planell, Josep A., Navarro, Melba, Altankov, George, Aparicio, Conrado, Engel, Elisabeth, Gil, Javier, Ginebra, Maria Pau, Lacroix, Damien, (2010). Materials surface effects on biological interactions NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology Advances in Regenerative Medicine: Role of Nanotechnology, and Engineering Principles (ed. Shastri, P., Altankov, G., Lendlein, A.), Springer Netherlands (Dortrecht, The Netherlands) , 233-252
Milan, J. L., Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., (2009). Computational modelling of the mechanical environment of osteogenesis within a polylactic acid-calcium phosphate glass scaffold Biomaterials 30, (25), 4219-4226
Olivares, A. L., Marshal, E., Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., (2009). Finite element study of scaffold architecture design and culture conditions for tissue engineering Biomaterials 30, (30), 6142-6149
Malandrino, A., Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., (2009). Statistical factorial analysis on the poroelastic material properties sensitivity of the lumbar intervertebral disc under compression, flexion and axial rotation Journal of Biomechanics 42, (16), 2780-2788
Lacroix, D., Planell, J. A., Prendergast, P. J., (2009). Computer-aided design and finite-element modelling of biomaterial scaffolds for bone tissue engineering Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences , 367, (1895), 1993-2009
Lacroix, D., Planell, J. A., (2009). Biomaterials: Processing, characterization, and applications Biomedical Materials (ed. Narayan, R.), Springer US (Cambridge, UK) , 123-154
Lacroix, D., (2009). Biomechanical aspects of bone repair Bone repair biomaterials (ed. Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., Best, S., Merolli, A.), Woodhead (Cambridge, UK)
Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., Best, S., Merolli, A., (2009). Bone repair biomaterials Woodhead publishing in materials (ed. Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., Best, S., Merolli, A.), Woodhead (Cambridge, UK) , 496
Engel, E., Michiardi, A., Navarro, M., Lacroix, D., Planell, J. A., (2008). Nanotechnology in regenerative medicine: the materials side Trends in Biotechnology , 26, (1), 39-47
Sandino, C., Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., (2008). A finite element study of mechanical stimuli in scaffolds for bone tissue engineering Journal of Biomechanics 41, (5), 1005-1014
Charles-Harris, M., Koch, M. A., Navarro, M., Lacroix, D., Engel, E., Planell, J. A., (2008). A PLA/calcium phosphate degradable composite material for bone tissue engineering: an in vitro study Journal of Materials Science-Materials in Medicine , 19, (4), 1503-1513
Koch, M. A., Engel, E., Planell, J. A., Lacroix, D., (2008). Cell seeding and characterisation of PLA/glass composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering Journal of Biomechanics 16th Congress, European Society of Biomechanics , Elsevier (Lucerne, Switzerland) 41, (Supplement 1), S162
Charles-Harris, M., del Valle, S., Hentges, E., Bleuet, P., Lacroix, D., Planell, J. A., (2007). Mechanical and structural characterisation of completely degradable polylactic acid/calcium phosphate glass scaffolds Biomaterials 28, (30), 4429-4438
- High performance computing infrastructure (48 cores, 256 GB RAM and over 11TB disc space, machine virtualization)
- Image reconstruction, Agent-based modelling, and Finite Element software technologies
- Bose ElectroForce BioDynamic bioreactor system (orthopaedic, cardiovascular, and customized configurations)
- Microfluidic chamber
- Dr. Josep Maria Font Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya BarcelonaTech, Barcelona, Spain
- Prof. Antoni Susín Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya BarcelonaTech, Barcelona, Spain
- Dr Ludovic Humbert Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Galgo Medical SL, Barcelona, Spain
- Dr. Joan Carles Monllau, Dr Ion Carrera Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain
- Dr. Màrius Valera Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain
- Dr Gianluca Vadalà Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Italy
- Prof. Mauro Alini AO Research Institute – AO Fundation, Davos, Switzerland Dr Benjamin Gantenbein, Dr Samantha Chan University of Bern, Switzerland
- Prof. Stephen Fergusson ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- Dr. Aron Lazary, Dr Péter Pál Varga National Center for Spinal Disorders, Budapest, Hungary
- Prof. Christian Hellmich Vienna University of Technology – Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Vienna, Austria
- Prof. Marie-Christine Ho Ba Tho Compiègne University of Technology, Compiègne, France
- Prof. Hans-Joachim Wilke Institute of Orthopaedic Research and Biomechanics, University of Ulm, Germany
- Prof. Keita Ito Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
- Prof. Damien Lacroix University of Sheffield, UK
- Dr José Pozo, Prof. Alejandro Frangi University of Sheffield, UK
- Dr Juan Fernando Ramírez Patiño, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín, Colombia