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Marco Viceconti

Full Professor

Department of Industrial Engineering

Academic discipline: ING-IND/34 Industrial Bioengineering

Coordinator of PhD Programme in Health and Technologies

News

topics for Master Degree final year project (Thesis) AY 2020-2021 for students in engineering

Title: Development of a finite element model that predicts the results of joint wear tests using a joint simulator (ref: wear_CC)

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an internationally renowned expert in computational biomechanics, and in close collaboration with the Tribology group directed by Dr. Saverio Affatato at the Medical Technology Laboratory of the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, the candidate will develop a computational model that predicts the wear between the surfaces of new joint replacement designs observed experimentally with joint simulators. The project involves the development of a finite element model using the ANSYS software which predicts the contact pressure and velocity fields of the joint interface as a function of the geometries, tolerances, materials, surface properties, and the conditions of displacement and loading imposed; from these we will then derive a prediction of surface wear, with relative updating of geometries and surface properties and calculation of the mass lost in wear products. The accuracy of the model will be evaluated with respect to a series of experimental measurements conducted at the Tribology group.

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: wear tests using a joint simulator are mandatory for each new prosthetic design. On average they last three months each, and are very expensive. They also have important limitations, since they are hardly able to reproduce anomalous conditions of positioning, load, or other. Now that computer simulation-based safety evidence can be provided to regulators, many orthopaedic companies are exploring how to use computational methods to replace, at least in part, more complex laboratory tests. The candidate will deepen important aspects of computational biomechanics and will acquire important 3D modelling and design skills that can now be used in both research and industry.

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Title: Development of an experimental model for the measurement of dorsiflexion force in patients suffering from foot drop. (ref: foot_MB)

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, expert in computational biomechanics, and in close collaboration with the experimental biomechanics group coordinated by Eng. Massimiliano Baleani the candidate will design and build an experimental model to measure the reduction of dorsiflexion strength in patients suffering from "foot drop". The measurement protocol, which will include the aforementioned experimental model, will be verified in the laboratory and then used on patients with the aim of personalizing the treatment by creating custom ankle-foot orthoses.

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: during the thesis the student will acquire skills on assisted technical drawing, mechanical processing and measuring instruments, which can be useful in virtually any engineering job.

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Title: Verification, validation, and quantification of the uncertainty of subject-specific models of dynamics of the musculoskeletal system (ref: osim_GD)

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an internationally renowned expert in computational biomechanics, the candidate will develop a systematic evaluation protocol of subject-specific models of musculoskeletal system dynamics according to the emerging standard ASME V & V-40, which would allow these models to be used to assess the safety and / or efficacy of certain classes of medical devices. These methods will be applied to a series of models built from the open access data of the so-called Knee Grand Challenge [https://simtk.org/projects/kneeloads].

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: the recent adoption of the ASME V & V-40 standard as a qualification requirement for in silico methods by the FDA, medical devices division, makes this project extremely topical also industrial.

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Title: Characterization of the mechanical properties of the tissues that form the femoral head (ref: cart_MB)

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an expert in computational biomechanics of international fame, and in close collaboration with the Experimental Biomechanics group directed by Eng. Massimiliano Baleani at the Medical Technology Laboratory of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, the candidate / a will conduct a study aimed at the design and implementation of a method for the study of the alterations induced by osteoarthritis in the subchondral and trabecular tissue that constitute the support of the cartilage of the coxo-femoral joint.

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: the long-term goal is to study the alterations induced by osteoarthritis in the subchondral and trabecular tissue, information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative treatments. The acquired experimental biomechanics skills can be interesting for companies producing medical devices.

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Title: Development of models for the assessment of intraoperative fracture risk in uncemented hip prostheses (ref: ist4tj_NLM)

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an internationally renowned expert in computational biomechanics, the candidate will first develop a protocol for verification and validation according to the ASME V&V 40 standard in order to have, at the end of the project, a reliable computational model. We will then proceed with the development of a stochastic model, created for patients selected on the basis of sex, age, size of the femur, bone density and presence of fractures. The aim is to estimate the risk of bone fracture during implantation of the femoral component, thus taking into account some variables such as: the size of the femur (and the consequent size of the prosthetic component), bone density and inclination and the orientation of the stem.

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: There is a growing interest in the biomedical industry for the use of computational methods for the preclinical evaluation of medical devices.

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Title: Validation of FE models for the prediction of femoral neck fracture risk (ref: bs_NLM).

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an internationally renowned expert in computational biomechanics, the candidate will develop a systematic evaluation protocol of the credibility of FE models for the prediction of hip fracture risk according to the emerging standard ASME V & V- 40. The candidate will also be involved in the preparation of the document to be submitted to the EMA (European Medicine Agency) to request an opinion on the acceptability of the use of these new methods in clinical practice. The verification and validation activities will be applied to specific subject models that the candidate will develop from real clinical data acquired and collected within the Medical Technology Laboratory of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute.

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: The recent adoption of the ASME V & V-40 standard as a qualification requirement for in silico methods by the FDA, medical devices division, makes this project extremely topical for the biomedical industry.

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Title: Development of computational models for the prediction of efficacy of anti-osteoporosis drugs (ref: bsdrug_NLM).

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an internationally renowned expert in computational biomechanics, the candidate will develop a protocol to estimate the efficacy of anti-osteoporotic drugs on a human cohort, also starting from data relating to animal experimentation. .

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: The development of new drugs requires an ever increasing investment in terms of time and patients to be recruited. The FDA's approval of the use of in silico methods to improve the design and reduce the complexity of clinical trials makes this project highly topical for biomedical industry.

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Title: Development of subject-specific models for the assessment of range of motion in patients with recurrent hip prosthesis dislocation (Ref: rom_GD)

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an internationally renowned expert in computational biomechanics, and of Prof. Francesco Traina, an expert hip surgeon, the candidate will develop a subject-specific model starting from CT or MRI data that preaches the maximum range of motion of the hip joint after prosthetic reconstruction, and whether they are subject to recurrent dislocation or subluxation.

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: this is a typical musculoskeletal modelling thesis with OpenSIM, to answer a clinically relevant question. In addition to gaining good experience with OpenSIM, the student will acquire relevant skills for companies that market joint prostheses and other similar medical devices.

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Title: Creation of a database of normative values of maximal forces and muscle activations acquired during an isometric maximal strength test (Ref: FL_GD)

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an internationally renowned expert in computational biomechanics, the candidate will create, starting from experimental data acquired in the laboratory as part of the ForceLoss project, a database of normative values of the maximal isometric force expressed by the knee extensor muscles and their activation recorded during a dynamometric test.

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: this is a typical thesis of acquisition and processing of biomedical signals. In addition to gaining experience in the laboratory during the preparation phase of the subject, preparation of the experimental set-up and data acquisition, the student will acquire skills in the processing of biomedical signals, relevant in the clinical setting or for the study of sports activities.

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Title: validation of a finite element model of spine biomechanics (Ref: vert_CC)

Description: Under the supervision of Prof. Marco Viceconti, an internationally renowned expert in computational biomechanics, the candidate will participate in the experimental validation of a model for the prediction of the risk of vertebral fracture. In collaboration with the experimental biomechanics group of the Department of Industrial Engineering, the candidate will be involved in the processing phase of the experimental data obtained through the Digital Image Correlation (DIC) method during mechanical tests, in the development of a specific subject FE model using Ansys software starting from CT images and in the development / optimization phase of a model validation protocol based on the guidelines reported in the V & V-40 standard.

Type: experimental thesis of greater commitment

Outlets: The recent adoption of the ASME V & V-40 standard as a qualification requirement for in silico methods by the FDA, medical devices division, makes this project extremely topical also industrial. The candidate will deepen important aspects of computational biomechanics and will acquire important 3D modelling and design skills that can now be used in both research and industry.

Published on: February 18 2021