MTS Systems Corporation, a leading global supplier of high-performance test systems and position sensors, today announced that the Institute of Technology, Tallaght (ITT Dublin), a university research center in South Dublin, Ireland, is conducting research leveraging MTS testing hardware, software and expertise to optimize two common spinal trauma surgery procedures to reduce hospitalization stays and improve outcomes.
A team of postgraduate students at the ITT Dublin Bioengineering Technology Centre (BTC) is working to better understand the mechanics involved with human spine trauma injuries and two procedures to address them: spinal fracture stabilization and balloon kyphoplasty. Spinal fracture stabilization uses screws and rods to mechanically stabilize the spine, and balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon and a bone cement injection to rebuild collapsed vertebrae.
The MTS biomedical test system is capable of simulating a full range of motion in spine specimens, giving researchers the precise data they need to better understand, model and test spine biomechanics. "Being able to carefully choreograph spinal movements in the test lab and correlate those movements with test data is a rare capability, and it makes us a very unique facility," said Dr. Fiona McEvoy, who founded the BTC. "Since the MTS software user experience is so intuitive and test setups are so fast, our students can really get creative and explore multiple approaches." Data generated will be used to create finite element analytical (FEA) computer models that will help to reduce unknowns for spine surgeons prior to surgery.
"When complete, the research will make both procedures more reliant on objective test data, rather than being heavily dependent on the experience of the individual surgeon," said Bill Hardy, MTS Test Worldwide Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "The insights enabled by our test technology will also allow procedures to be customized to the unique needs of each patient with the goal of better outcomes, faster recoveries and fewer post-surgery complications."
According to MTS President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Graves, the combined efforts of MTS and ITT Dublin demonstrate MTS' commitment to working closely with leading biomedical researchers to advance what is possible and positively impact lives. "With so many spinal injuries requiring surgery and long, expensive hospital stays, ITT Dublin's research has the potential to reduce medical costs and improve the quality of life for people around the world," Graves said. "We look forward to continuing to help these researchers learn more about spine kinematics and discover new ways to treat spinal trauma more effectively."
About MTS Systems Corporation
MTS Systems Corporation is a leading global supplier of high-performance test systems and position sensors. The Company's testing hardware and software solutions help customers accelerate and improve their design, development, and manufacturing processes and are used for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products, and structures. MTS' high-performance position sensors provide controls for a variety of industrial and vehicular applications. MTS had 2,299 employees at September 28, 2013 and revenue of $569 million for the fiscal year ended September 28, 2013. Additional information on MTS can be found on the worldwide web at http://www.mts.com.
About the Institute of Technology, Tallaght and the Bioengineering Technology Centre
The Institute of Technology, Tallaght (ITT Dublin) is a university-level institution located in South Dublin, Ireland. The Bioengineering Technology Centre (BTC) provides applied research within the ITT School of Engineering, offering intensive instruction to a handful of students pursuing advanced degrees in biomechanical engineering. The BTC mission is to apply engineering principles to medical problems, with the goal of yielding new innovations that can be used in clinical practice to enhance patient quality of life. Additional information on the ITT and BTC can be found at http://www.it-tallaght.ie/btc.