Friday, September 21, 2012
Glasgow/Maastricht foot model
Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) led an international team to develop the Glasgow/Maastricht foot model. It is based on three years of analysis of the movement and form of the dozens of bones, joints,ligaments, muscles and tendons that make up the human foot. Experts believe the model can help reduce recovery times and symptoms for around 200 million Europeans who suffer from disabling foot and ankle conditions, including thousands of Scottish stroke victims. It could also be used to help boost the performance of paraylmpic athletes such as South African “bladerunner”, Oscar Pistorius. Professor Jim Woodburn, the project co-ordinator at GCU has co-operated with colleagues at Maastrict University in Holland in the €3.7 million research project. Computer tomography and magnetic resonance images from a variety of foot and leg conditions in Glasgow and Maastricht were used by Danish biomechanical firm, AnyBody Technology to improve software by bringing an “unprecedented level of anatomical detail.” The computerised simulation will allow medical professionals, sports scientists and footwear manufacturers access to a completely accurate, three-dimensional image of the foot for the first time. The software incorporates detailed reproductions of all 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, and can be scaled to whatever size, gender, age or physical ailment researchers want to mimic. The simulation can be used to test potential cures as well as developing new orthotic devices, using 3D printing techniques.