Mechanical charactrization of spinal cord tissue
To accomplish our mission to develop the technologies to implement patient specific approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat spinal cord injury we need to quantify spinal cord biomechanical behavior. Research has shown that mechanics of traumatic impact are the primary predictor of long term functional deficit in patients with spinal cord injury.
Our objectives are (1) to characterize the material behaviour of the spinal cord, its constituent materials and the surrounding protective structures to develop constitutive relationships based on non-invasive diagnostic measurements. These constitutive relationships provide critical input to establish accurate computational models of spinal cord. (2) to develop computational models of the spinal cord complex to better understand the mechanics of injury and identify opportunities for intervention. These models provide an additional tool to expand our knowledge from animal studies of spinal cord injury. (3) to experimentally determine the biomechanical behavior of the spinal cord and its constituents.