SPRI’s Department of Biomedical Engineering is a collection of multidisciplinary laboratories including Biomotion, Robotics and Advanced Imaging. The team is comprised of scientists and researchers that apply quantitative, analytical and integrative methods to the field of orthopaedic medicine.
In 2021, the Department of Imaging Research officially joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), further integrating the labs and research projects. The team employs three full-time PhD researchers in Director Dr. Scott Tashman and Research Scientists Drs. Lauren Watkins and Colin Smith.
The BME team focuses on the role of mechanics and movement on injury and re-injury prevention as well as assessment of surgical and nonsurgical treatments for restoring musculoskeletal function. The team is dedicated to integrating clinical care, research and education, combining SPRI’s engineering expertise with the resources of renowned orthopaedic surgeons from The Steadman Clinic, with the ultimate goal of improving treatment of musculoskeletal diseases and orthopaedic injuries. Biomechanics, motion analysis, advanced biomedical imaging, computational modeling and orthopaedic engineering are at the center of the department’s research approach.
BME continues to collaborate closely with physicians, maintaining the imperative clinical lens that keeps its focus on high-impact research. BME’s research portfolio has expanded significantly to include an essential role in nearly all of SPRI’s clinical trials, providing advanced biomechanical and quantitative imaging assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of regenerative medicine treatments for restoring tissue health and function.
The department is home to a state-of-the-art Biomotion Laboratory for assessing human movement and function that includes video-motion analysis, an instrumented treadmill, force plates, a wireless EMG system, wearable IMU sensors, insole pressure sensors and a unique Dynamic Stereo X-ray system, utilizing cutting-edge technology designed by Dr. Scott Tashman, BME Director. Studies of musculoskeletal anatomy and new orthopaedic procedures are conducted in the department’s Robotics Laboratory, which is one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world. This includes a custom robotic-arm that can recreate physiological joint motion, and video-motion analysis and 3D laser scanning technologies to capture musculoskeletal geometry and function. The BME team also conducts advanced imaging with its leading-edge 3.0 Tesla Siemens MAGNETOM Skyra and Canon Vantage Galan magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners in Vail, Frisco and Basalt, Colorado, while applying imaging tools to improve patient outcomes.
The SPRI Golf Sports Medicine Program operates under the Department of Biomedical Engineering, integrating a high-tech simulator system within the Biomotion Laboratory. This unique combination of technologies enables the SPRI to perform one of the most advanced biomechanical analyses of golf swings in the world, leading to a faster return to play after orthopaedic treatments, reduced injuries, and improved performance.