Biomechanics Research

The Centre for Biomechanics Research is rapidly growing, focusing on multidisciplinary research into the dynamics of the human spine and other multi-joint systems.

Watching the spine move

To develop tools for the measurement and interpretation of dynamics and stresses in the musculoskeletal system.

 

To conduct multidisciplinary and collaborative research into biomechanical measures for the diagnosis of musculoskeletal pain and disability.

The CBR is the birthplace of quantitative fluoroscopy (QF), a measurement tool for spinal segmental kinematics that can be safely performed in living people. Starting in the 1980s by exploring methods for image registration, we added standardisation of image recording so that data could be compared between individuals and groups of participants. With a grant from the NHS New and Emerging Applications of Technology Programme in 2001 (Project B030), the patient perspective was added, along with automated image tracking.

There followed two decades of technology transfer support activity and validation studies to enable the use of QF as a clinical tool. In the clinical studies that followed, a database of normative kinematic information was built, along with more advanced data analysis methods that took greater advantage of the dynamic information that the technology provides. These improvements enabled the discovery of a probable biomechanical marker in chronic, nonspecific low back pain.

The latest addition to our research has come from a collaboration with the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter, with which we have begun to combine QF and 3D MRI to model the stresses between vertebrae dynamically using finite element analysis.

The Centre has specialist expertise in medical physics and clinical biomechanics. We have access to a dedicated QF lab for both projects and development, an on-site upright, open MRI scanner and other biomechanical measurement devices.

Staff

  • Professor Alan Breen DC, PhD,  Director.
  • Dr Alexander Breen BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, Technology Lead and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow.
  • Mrs Linda Bruce, Administrator.
  • Ms Megan Watts, Student Research Assistant,(Bournemouth University).

 Visiting Researchers

  • Dr Philip Carvil, Department of Aerospace and Physiological Sciences, King's College London.
  • Dr Rebecca Hemming, School of Healthcare Sciences, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Cardiff University.

Visiting Fellows

  • Dr Fiona Mellor, Radiotherapy department, Dorset Cancer Centre, Poole Hospital NHS Trust.
  • Dr Jonathan Branney, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University.
  • Dr Kevin Brownhill, Research Department, British School of Osteopathy.
  • Dr Alister du Rose, Welsh Institute of Chiropractic, University of South Wales.
  • Dr Rene Lindstrom, Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Faculty of Engineering, Science and Medicine, Aalborg University.