May - August 2018


A summer of biomechanics and 3D imaging at the University of Calgary!

Pectus Carinatum is a growth disorder involving the cartilage in the ribs, resulting in abnormal protrusion of the sternum in youth approaching puberty. The current gold-standard of treatment for this disorder is orthotic bracing, and clinicians require a means to perform chest measurements more quickly and repeatably than traditional tools (tape measures, calipers) would allow. A potential solution is an iPad attachment that uses structured light to capture 3D images of a patient’s torso, with custom software developed to perform measurements on a consistent anatomical coordinate system.

Over the summer, I worked with Braceworks (a leading orthopedic bracing company) in combination with the Clinical Movement Assessment Laboratory at the University of Calgary. My project involved the assessment of these novel measurement methods to streamline the processes of surgical planning and orthotic bracing for chest wall deformities, and I presented my findings results at a number of seminars and symposiums at the end of the summer.

Additionally, I learned how to use Cortex (Motion Analysis) software with the goal of tracking and analyzing knee kinetics and kinematics in patients pre- and post- total knee replacement surgery.

Interestingly, and unexpectedly, I learned that this project at the interface of the clinic and the university involved technology that could one day be patented, and from that I had the chance to learn a ton about the importance of intellectual property. From taking part in IP meetings with U of C and Braceworks representatives to coordinating my project's public representation with Innovate Calgary, I was fascinated by the role that IP plays in the world of research & development.