ESBiomech24 Congress in Edinburgh

ESB Mobility Award Winners – 2024

Marta Alloisio

Marta Alloisio is a PhD student in Solid Mechanics/Biomechanics at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. She holds an MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and joined KTH as PhD student in 2021. Her research is dedicated to unravelling the complexities of blood vessel fracture behaviour, starting with the exploration of the normal porcine aorta and extending towards the diseased human aorta in collaboration with the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm. Marta has already gained an understanding of the fracture mechanisms of vascular tissue through novel experimental and computational methods. The final part of her research concerns the development of phase field methods integrated within the Finite Element Method, a promising computational approach in the simulation of material fracture, demonstrating a topic of great scientific, clinical, and industrial interest. 

Planned Research Project

“Exploring Vascular Wall Fracture through an Integrated Experimental and Numerical Approach”

Thanks to the ESB Mobility Award, Marta will travel to the Leibniz University of Hannover in Germany. During a four-month research stay at the Leibniz University of Hannover, the in-house fracture analysis software will be optimized and applied to investigate vascular tissue fracture. Marta’s work will benefit from the supervision of Professor Fadi Aldakheel, one of the pioneers in developing and applying the phase-field method for fracture problems. Her research will aim to introduce innovative methodologies to investigate the disruption of soft tissues at a microscopical level, unravelling the key mechanisms leading to the rupture of abdonimal aorta.

Sam Boxwell

Sam Boxwell is a PhD student in the Mechanobiology and Medical Devices Research Group at the University of Galway. He holds a BSc and ME in Biomedical Engineering from University College Dublin, where he specialized in medical device design, biomechanics, and computational modelling. During his time at Boston Scientific, he developed an interest in transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) for the treatment of aortic stenosis. In 2022, Sam received the prestigious Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship to undertake his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Laoise McNamara at the University of Galway. His research, conducted in collaboration with Boston Scientific, aims to develop multi-physics computational models of TAVI for ‘off-label’ bicuspid aortic valve patients. These models aim to provide an advanced approach for predicting TAVI performance, inform next-generation device design, and maximise performance in this patient cohort.

Planned research Project

“Patient-to-population: integration of computational and deep learning approaches for in silico clinical trials of transcatheter aortic valve implantation

With the support of the ESB Mobility Award, Sam will spend six months at Harvard Medical School, collaborating with Prof. Farhad Nezami. As part of his PhD, Sam has developed advanced computational models to predict the structural and haemodynamic performance of TAVI devices. These models have been extensively validated using in vitro testing, and most recently, applied to retrospective patient-specific bicuspid aortic valve cases. During his time at Harvard, Sam will integrate these models with fully automated deep learning tools developed in the Nezami Lab for reconstructing, analysing and classifying digital twins of aortic stenosis. This data-driven simulation framework aims to extract advanced anatomical and biomechanical metrics of aortic stenosis and correlate them with recorded post-TAVI outcomes. This project will extend the current simulation framework from patient-specific to population-specific, progressing toward the conduction of in silico clinical trials of TAVI in ‘off-label’ cohorts.

Marco Caruso

Marco Caruso received his M.S. in biomedical engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2017. He was then enrolled in a joint doctoral program between the Politecnico di Torino and the University of Turin. He received his PhD degree in 2022 with a thesis entitled “Methods and good practice guidelines for human joint kinematics estimation through magnetic and inertial wearable sensors.”. He is a post-doctoral researcher with time contract at the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications of Politecnico di Torino under the supervision of Professor Andrea Cereatti. His main research interest includes the use of wearable sensors, the development of sensor fusion algorithms for orientation and position estimation and the development of biomechanical models for the real-time tracking of the human joint during rehabilitation.

Planned research Project

“Advancing at-home stroke rehabilitation: the synergy between IMUs and RGB-D in upper limb therapy”

Thanks to the ESB Mobility Award, Marco will travel to the Motion Analysis Lab at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (Boston, USA) for 6 months, working with Prof. Paolo Bonato. His project aims to develop innovative methods for accurately reconstructing the complete pose of the upper body through the integration of IMU wearable sensors and RGB-D cameras, correlating this data with clinical outcome measures. He will work on identifying the most suitable IMUs and developing an upper limb biomechanical model to include bilateral limbs and trunk movements. Additionally, he will design a global optimization method for real-time pose estimation by combining IMU-based segment orientations with RGB-D-based joint center positions. The rehabilitation protocol will involve a standardized 3D-reach-to-grasp task to assess the effectiveness of the developed methods. By enhancing the accuracy of upper limb pose reconstruction, the project aims to improve remote monitoring and therapy adjustments, thereby optimizing rehabilitation outcomes for stroke survivors.

Corporate members of the ESB:

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