ESBiomech24 Congress in Edinburgh

ESBiomech Newsletter Spring 2013

We are pleased to present our Spring Newsletter with the latest ESB news, additional contributions of our awarded researchers, and of our corporate members.

We continue increasing the Newsletter functionality and the ability to do more adventurous things so please contact us with ideas of items you would like to see on our website and newsletter and these will be considered as the society continues to expand. If you do not wish to receive mailings including the newsletter and other updates from the European Society of Biomechanics you can update your settings in the membership section of the website here:

I hope you find the newsletter useful and informative.

MªAngeles Pérez –



Message from the President


19th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics 25-28th August, Patras Greece

Other Meeting Announcements: Endorsed meetings and Save the Date ESB 2014


Student’s corner


Membership news


Society News


Sponsor’s news



Message from the President

Jürgen Habermas and the European Society of Biomechanics


The connection between Jürgen Habermas, one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, and the ESB may seem a bit far-fetched. In fact, I admit that it purely relies on coincidence, being the fact that he visited Leuven a few weeks ago, which happens to be the place where I live and work. At the age of 83, Habermas gave a brilliant lecture at our university, in which he summarized his views on the economic crisis in Europe, and the importance of Europe’s democratic legitimacy and solidarity to counteract it. While in the news we are almost daily confronted with Euro scepticism, Habermas warns of a feeling of disconnectedness with the European whole.

Obviously the last thing I want to do is to make you think there would be any resemblance between the economic crisis and the state of the ESB – hopefully the rest of this column as well as of this Newsletter will convince you otherwise! What I do find interesting is that solidarity and connectedness are seen as essential to conquer this crisis and to guarantee a strong and healthy Europe in the long term. And this brings me to the ESB, being a society that wants to promote research concerning the science of Biomechanics across Europe and beyond. While I have no doubt that each of us is working very hard to make a scientific contribution within his or her research group, some sense of connectedness to a community that surpasses the individual context can clearly be beneficial to promote high quality (biomechanics) science. The fact that the ESB Council sees a constant flow of new membership applications – bringing the 1000th membership within reach! – suggests that an ever increasing number of biomechanics researchers within and outside Europe finds it important to be part of such a community that connects people.

The most important forum for enjoying this sense of connectedness remains the ESB congress. I truly hope you will all come to Patras at the end of August and participate in what promises to be a wonderful experience from both a scientific and social point of view. Based on the number and quality of abstracts that were received, the excellent plenary speaker and precourse programs that were composed by Yannis Missirlis and his team, this congress will be able to embrace more ‘traditional’ biomechanics topics as well as new and emerging topics, like cell and molecular biomechanics and systems biology.

I would also like to draw your attention to the ESB Mobility Award for Young Researchers, which is a new initiative launched by the ESB Council that wants to provide ESB members with financial assistance to carry out collaborative research in a foreign country. You can find all the details in this Newsletter issue, application deadline is 31st of May, 2013. By initiating such an Award, the Council wants to make sure that ESB members can benefit from the healthy financial situation of the ESB – as can be appreciated from the steady increase of total assets that we have witnessed over the recent years. Obviously, we hope that the increasing awards initiative will be financially sustainable in the future.

For the rest, I invite you to read this Newsletter so that you can find out for yourself that the ESB community is vibrant and that this Council is really active. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have comments or suggestions – just come to Patras and talk to us!


19th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics 25-28th August, Patras Greece


Early registration: Deadline May 30th, 2013


The 19th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics will be held at the Congress & Cultural Center of the University of Patras, located at the Entrance of the University, overlooking the straits of the Corinthian and Patras Gulfs.

Many hotels of different size and category are located within either walking distance or have easy access to the Congress by public transportation (bus/train) or taxi.

One can reach Patras by ferry boat from Italian ports (Brindisi, Bari, Ancona, Venice), from Araxos airport (summer flights), or from Athens airport. Details of how to travel from Athens airport to Patras by bus, train, or by organized coach service are posted in the webpage of the Congress.

On Sunday, August 25, 2 precourses are scheduled, while in the afternoon the Opening Ceremony will take place, featuring a cultural event followed by a Reception. The main Congress programme will commence at 08:30 Monday morning (August 26) and go through Wednesday, August 28, closing at 18:30; three days of exciting plenary and awardee talks, podium and poster presentations.



A-Nanomechanics of cells-tissues-biomaterials. Lectures and Experimental demonstration by Matej Daniel (TU Prague), Jaroslav Lukes (Hysitron), Georgios Michanetzis (U Patras). Limited to 30 participants. The detailed program is available online here.

B-Wavelet analysis of biological signals. Lectures and Experimental demonstration by Elisabeth Chroni (U Patras) and Silvia Conforto (U Roma). The detailed program is available online here.



Evan Evans, U British Columbia, “Mechanical stability and strength of soft tissues are limited by processes of thermally‐activated failure occurring at the nanoscale

Peter Kohl, Imperial College London, “A systems biology approach to cardiac mechanics”.

Reinhard Blickhan, U Jena, “Locomotion: Principles and Functional Morphology”.



Early registration until the 30th of May is advised to benefit from the congress reduced fee. The registration fee covers congress bag, proceedings, lunches, coffee breaks, beer-and-snacks poster viewing, and welcome reception. The registration fee also includes a one-year ESB membership, valid until the end of 2014 for ESB members, or until the end of 2013 for non-members willing to apply for ESB membership. More detailed information available at the Congress webpage.

Please note that only the abstracts whose presenting author has paid the registration fee by 30th of May will be scheduled in the conference program and included in the proceedings.



The opening ceremony, including a cultural event and a reception, on Sunday evening, the students’ special music/dancing/barbecue Monday evening, and the Congress banquet on Tuesday are the “official” social events. For accompanying persons there is an exciting trip to Ancient Olympia. Such a visit and other pre- or post- Congress touristic travel can be arranged (



The confirmed Exhibitors at the Congress to date are: Tekscan, Prophysics, MTS, Materialise, DELSYS, C-Motion, Biomechanical solutions, BETA CAE Systems, BTS.


Other Meeting Announcements: Endorsed meetings and Save the Date ESB 2014




The 20th ESB Congress will be held at John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston Massachusetts within the 7th World Congress of Biomechanics from July 6-11, 2014.

The World Congress of Biomechanics is an international meeting held once every four years, rotating among Europe, Asia and the Americas. This, the 7th WCB, will once again bring together engineers, scientists from various disciplines including biology, physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry and various clinical specialties. Applications range from basic biology to medical devices to the latest technologies. Researchers, engineers from industry, medical doctors, academics, and students are all welcome. Vendor exhibitions will highlight the latest technologies, publications, and medical devices.

More information



The ESB endorses several meetings during 2013. All of them offer a discount on the fee (reduced fees) for our ESB member.

ESMAC2013 – 22nd Annual Meeting of the European Society for Movement Analysis in Adults and Children

2-7 September 2013

University of Strathclyde,

Glasgow, Scotland, UK



NSpine 2013 – The Comprehensive Spine Course

5-8 September 2013

Centre for Spinal Studies and Surgery,

Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK



3rd SIMBIO-M International Conference

16-18 September 2013

Coventry University, UK



IMechE – Knee Surgery and Rehabilitation in 2013: How is engineering driving improved treatment?

11-12 November 2013

Institution of Mechanical Engineers,

1 Birdcage Walk, London, UK





Student’s corner


ESB mobility award for young researchers

Are you excited about your research and you want to extend your expertise? Are you enjoying the international aspect of research, meeting interesting people and new cultures within your own lab or at conferences? Take it one step further and visit a foreign lab! A research stay abroad does not only broaden your scientific horizon by learning new techniques and creating a network of international contacts, it also allows you to submerge yourself in the local culture and customs, truly a once in a life-time experience! Recently the ESB has launched the ESB Mobility Award for Young researchers, a great initiative to give young researchers the opportunity to do part of their PhD or postdoctoral research abroad. A limited number of awards (3) to a value of €4000 are available in 2013 on a competitive basis. Information about eligibility and application process is available ‘here’. The submission deadline is 31st of May 2013. This great opportunity is waiting for you, take the chance and apply!


Good morning, Baltimore! Report of a research stay at JHU – from Aurélie Carlier

6 months ago I traded my university town Leuven, Belgium for Baltimore, a vivid city on the east coast of the USA. I was going to Johns Hopkins University for a research stay of 6 months mainly to learn new modeling techniques as part of my PhD. The beginning of my stay was characterized by a lot of “news”. A new place to live, a new campus, new colleagues, new friends, new food (I really missed the good bread and chocolate from Belgium!)… It was all very exciting and inspiring, I learned new methods, followed interesting seminars, and met world-class scientists. During this visit I did not only grow as a scientist, I also grew personally since I was able to explore and experience so many different things: I ate for the first time Afghan and Ethiopian food, I started with yoga, kickboxing and climbing and took some salsa and tango classes, I witnessed both the presidential elections as well as the storm Sandy from the first row, I watched the Baltimore Ravens win the Superbowl (a huge event in the USA!), I celebrated for the first time a traditional Thanksgiving and I traveled to Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and NY. It is impossible to describe all life-changing adventures that comes with a research stay abroad (definitely on a limited amount of space in the student corner :p!), I can only state that I am very grateful that I had this experience which I really enjoyed and I motivate everybody to do a research stay abroad!



ESB conference 2013 – Patras welcomes you!

In just a few months University of Patras, Greece will welcome us for the 19th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics. It will again be a great meeting of biomechanical minds, including pre-courses, fascinating key-notes, and many interesting presentations and poster sessions. And off course you can count again on memorable student activities! We will offer a student workshop on the topic “industry versus academia”. The highlight of the student evening will be a Greek barbecue including famous souvlaki, gyros and tzatziki with beer, wine and traditional Greek drinks. Everything is accompanied with Greek music and dances. See you all there!




Membership news


The membership of the European Society of Biomechanics is steadily increasing. Total membership is now 933. This includes 644 active members, 241 student members, 35 senior members, 7 honorary members, 6 corporate members.

A very warm welcome to the 93 new members who have joined us since Autumn 2012:


In order to consolidate the pending memberships, the members in arrears were personally contacted and a number of them confirmed their affiliation with the ESB.

In order to avoid any confusion regarding the payment of the ESB membership fee, we remind you of the following:

For more details about membership payment rules, please visit the dedicated page.

To update/check your membership profile and fee payments, you just need to login in the ESB website and follow the account overview link on the right. The ESB website has been redesigned recently, but you can still login with your email address (the one you used to register for the ESB) and old password. If you do not remember your password, just fill out your email address on the login page and a new password will be generated and emailed to you.


News about corporate members

The ESB is trying to encourage the participation of more corporate members in the society. In fact, currently the ESB has “only” 5 corporate members (you can see their logo on the at the bottom of the ESB homepage), while a larger number of companies could potentially be interested. To this purpose:




Society News


A tribute to Prof. Lawrence Katz

It is with great sadness that we report to you the death of prof. J. Lawrence Katz, senior member of the ESB. Larry Katz has made pioneering contributions to the field of bone and dental biomechanics, among others by the use of acoustic microscopy and ultrasound. As a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he worked at the interface between biomaterials, biomechanics and biophysics. An interview with Larry Katz, dating from 1999 as part of the IEEE Global History Network can be found here. He will be truly missed.


News from the ESB Italian Chapter

In last months, the Italian National Chapter has made a few progresses in its organization: a new website (, a facebook group and a linkedin group are now available. The first issue of the Newsletter (Il Giornalino) appeared at the end of December and can be downloaded from the website. The Second issue is currently under development and will illustrate results of a kind of survey on the Chapter’s members (age, affiliation, carrier, main research topics etc.) carried out recently.

The Third Meeting of the Italian Chapter will take place in Pisa on September 25. With the aim of strengthening the collaboration between colleagues and between Societies, the meeting is organized in synergy with the meeting of the SIAMOC. In that occasion the General Assembly will also elect a new Executive Board.


Summary of the 2nd Meeting of the Spanish Chapter of the ESB

The Second Meeting of the Spanish Chapter took place in Seville on 25th October 2012. More than 60 Spanish researchers attended and 36 oral presentations took place at the 2nd Meeting.

A round table was organized in which a combination of engineers and researchers in biomechanics and clinical experts presented their ideas in their corresponding expertise field. The main goal of this special session was to promote the discussion between these different families of professionals, permitting them to present their respective needs, to eventually identify different lines of collaboration. Another special session about technology transfer in biomechanics involved companies and centers of technology that were invited to present their work. Both sessions led to fruitful discussions, open to all the meeting participants.

Executive Board of the Spanish Chapter with the Research Vice Dean of the Seville University (from left to right: Jérôme Noailly, Jose Antonio Sanz, MªAngeles Pérez, Research Vice Dean of the Seville University Ramón González and Jaime Domínguez)

Executive Board of the Spanish Chapter with the Research Vice Dean of the Seville University (from left to right: Jérôme Noailly, Jose Antonio Sanz, MªAngeles Pérez, Research Vice Dean of the Seville University Ramón González and Jaime Domínguez)


During the meeting, 36 oral presentations were done in parallel sessions. Indeed, the 6 higher evaluated works were awarded with a Diploma, and the best three of them were invited to present in a plenary session: “Pressure gradient prediction in aortic coartaction both under rest and pharmacologic stress” by I. Valeverde; “In silico experiments for the determination of the vertebral bony endplate permeability and its relation to bone morphology” by A. Malandrino; and “Elastic parameters estimation of human liver biomechanical models through medical imaging and evolutive algorithms” by M.J. Rupérez.

One of the sessions during the meeting.

One of the sessions during the meeting.

The yearly Assembly of the Chapter took place on the same day. An open discussion took place about the goals of the Spanish Chapter, and the organization of the next meeting. The President of the Chapter encouraged to all the Spanish members to use the social media that the Spanish Chapter has, mainly the Linked In group. This is a very useful tool to disseminate all the activities of our members, offering PhD and Post-doc positions, etc. The creation of a private web-space for the Chapter was also discussed, and different ideas for future activities were presented by the Executive Board, and received a warm welcome. Among them was the obtaining of Digital Object Identifier for the indexing of PhD theses, and the promotion of a Spanish work group for the local promotion of the Virtual Physiological Human initiative.. Otherwise, all attendees agreed on the importance of continuing to promote the transfer of technology of the research in Biomechanics.

General Assembly of the Spanish Chapter.

General Assembly of the Spanish Chapter.




Sponsor’s news


BAASYS one of our Corporate members’ contribution to the Spring Newsletter  


Biomechanical assessment of the musculoskeletal system provides us objective medical information in relation with functional capacity.

Integrating the clinical history with several biomechanical tests allows us to differentiate whether functional capacity is conserved, helps us to quantify functional pathological repercussion and estimates rehabilitation treatment efficacy. What is more, we can assess whether surgical intervention is recommendable and identify feigned conditions.

Our experience is based on 19,815 patients and 26,724 examinations.

In the context of the workplace, this information is extremely useful to classify disabilities into the three categories partial, total or absolute. In addition we can assess the physical requirement of the post can be carried out for the worker

The law of precedent guarantees this type of evaluation.

1.1 Biomechanical tests

Nowadays, we have a wide range of technical systems which can objectify the range of motion, strength and muscle tone, muscle fatigue, gait and balance.

Despite these technical advances, we must prepare a detailed clinical history before testing in order to determine which is the best protocol to assess and we can obtain useful parameters to diagnose whether to treat or to evaluate functionality.

We would like to summarize the most common examinations we are testing in our medical centers:

• Descriptive analysis of range of movements in the vast majority of human joints, describing range of movement and velocity, applying the high accuracy of 3 D digital optical systems.

• Evaluation of muscle functions while movement is being performed, to determine the presence of muscle contracture and evidence for muscle fatigue.

• Assessment and rehabilitation of the cervical vertebrae and muscle with MCU Multi-cervical unit, testing mobility and strength of cervical spine muscles.

• Multi-joint testing with isotonic, isometric and isokinetic modes.

• Gait analysis, testing foot pressure with insoles and force with force plates.

• Balance test with computerized dynamic posturography.

• Testing the smaller joints using the twin axis goniometer,

• Hand dynamometer and pinch meter, used to assess force in hands and fingers.


Neck pain is a common musculoskeletal disorder in the general population, with a prevalence of around 65.5%. It is generally accepted that muscles are the support and the protection of joints. In particular, deep muscles of the neck play an important role in maintaining the stability of the cervical spine. Several studies have demonstrated that there is a strong correlation between neck muscle atrophy and neck pain.

The cervical muscles play an important role in providing stability to the cervical vertebrae. Despite many detailed analyses, these studies have not assessed neck force as a possible outcome of neck disability or as a possible prognostic factor.

Several researchers have reported that dynamic strengthening of the neck muscles for 6 to 11 weeks in patients with chronic neck pain results in reducing neck pain, increasing isometric neck muscle strength and decreasing disability.


2.1 MCU Multicervical Unit

This is the most effective and complete system for the assessment and rehabilitation of patients suffering from neck pain, whiplash associated disorders (WAD), and general cervical spine disorders. The MCU is an unmatched, research-backed tool than can equally objectively evaluate, strengthen, and restore the ailing neck and cervical spine.

The MCU’s advanced technology helps you to perform objective evidence-based evaluations and standardized treatment with an easy, prescribed and validated protocol to follow. The system records isometric strength in all three planes of motion. Additionally, the dynamic strengthening protocol complements manual therapy – while it maintains objectivity for the progression of cervical spine rehab.

MCU- Multicervical unit

MCU- Multicervical unit

The patient’s condition can be dramatically improved and at the same time, we can control and reduce pain.

In our experience, over 70% of our patients improve. Average length of treatment is 7 weeks. Results indicate that treatment gains are maintained at 6 months follow up and beyond.

The rehabilitation program is designed individually for every patient; the weight load is increased by 5% approximately when a set of 12 or more repetitions has been achieved. You can reach your objective, by improving your cervical spine condition.


Materialise and its latest release


At Materialise, we are committed to driving the future of evidence-based solutions by continuously improving our segmentation capabilities and developing tools that increase design efficiency throughout your anatomy based workflow.

In the latest release, we have included exciting new segmentation tool like ‘smart expand’. The smart expand tool allows you to more efficiently segment bones and muscles from MRI data. In addition, it is also now possible to indicate and quantify ellipses on your anatomical images.

In addition, there were new design tools added that make designing plates and cages as easy as a few mouse clicks. The anatomical reconstruction tool allows you to easily reconstruct missing anatomy in an aesthetically pleasing way and design a patient specific cage in a few easy steps. We have also included a custom plate design function that allows you to quickly and accurately generate production ready custom plates. You will also find the design of your patient specific instruments easier than ever, thanks to a new ‘create base plate’ tool.

Finally, you can now link directly to AnyBodyTM for accurate patient-specific musculoskeletal modeling. For more information on this software update, please go to

Create base plate for the spine

Create base plate for the spine

Mandible reconstruction with a cage design

Mandible reconstruction with a cage design






















Smart Expand process from MRI scan to 3D model

Smart Expand process from MRI scan to 3D model



Corporate members of the ESB:

AMTI force and motion logo
Beta CAE logo
BoB Biomechanics logo
Materialise logo
Nobel Biocare logo