ESR 5: The Spinal Muscle Simulator

Early Stage Researcher: Hamed Shayestehpour
Host institution
: Aalborg University (AAU, DK)
Supervisor: Prof. John Rasmussen, AAU
Clinical expert co-supervisor: Dr. Christian Wong, Hvidovre Hospital(HH, DK. DK website)
Further institution involved: Synopsys – Simpleware Product Group (UK) 


We will optimize scoliosis interventions and develop new methods for prevention and early treatment of scoliosis. This is accomplished by describing the complex biomechanics of the spine and thoracic cage by an advanced, inverse dynamics musculoskeletal model driven by data from a spine protocol from the gait analysis system at HH. This will result in a clinical interface to form a treatment strategy for a given patient. Model will predict the effect of strengthening thoracic rotational stability and provide a better understanding of the newly created ‘Spina-flex’ external hyperkyphosing thoracic posture corset.

Expected Results

Development of a musculoskeletal spine model with clinical applications. Development of interaction between gait analysis data of the spine (protocol development) and the musculoskeletal model. Clinical user interface for testing suitable rotational exercises and corseting systems.

Planned research stays

  • AAU (9 months): Training in the AnyBody Modeling System and biomechanical modeling.
  • HH (6 months): Include patients and record data by the spinal module of the gait analysis system.
  • Synopsys – Simpleware Product Group (3 months): Model processing and validation from imaging data.
  • AAU (13 months):  Pilot adding of patient data to models. Combining gait analysis and spine simulation for testing rotational exercises and corseting systems.
  • HH (1 month): Clinical evaluation of simulation results.
  • AAU (4 months): Thesis completion.