Tech4POD News: 2012

Tech4POD researchers team up to support United Cerebral Palsy of Southeastern Wisconsin

11 Tech4POD Researchers - and a dog!

On September 22, 2012, Tech4POD researchers teamed up with Marquette's College of Engineering students, parents and alum to participate in United Cerebral Palsy’s 17th annual “Run, Walk, Roll” to benefit UCP’s programs for people with disabilities.

Tech4POD sponsored the runners and is actively involved with United Cerebral Palsy of Southeastern Wisconsin. Tech4POD’s Director and Principal Investigator, Dr. Gerald Harris also serves on UCP’s Board of Directors.

Tech4POD Research on Bone Imaging in Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is Featured in California Academy of Sciences Video

Tech4POD researcher and Marquette University graduate student John Jameson recently showcased his work on bone imaging in osteogenesis imperfecta during a segment filmed for the California Academy of Sciences’ “Science in Action” series. The series strives to make science more accessible for everyone and discuss its impact on our daily lives. The California Academy of Sciences is among the largest museums of natural history in the world. To see a short video clip of John Jameson's work titled "The Advance Light Source" click the picture of John Jameson below.

 Still frame of John Jameson speaking in the video

John is conducting leading-edge bone research on osteogenesis imperfecta as part of a two-year guest fellowship at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a particle accelerator at the lab that is capable of producing x-rays that are one billion times brighter than the sun. The video shows how scientists like John are using this unique tool to tackle many important issues, from global climate change to drug development. The data gathered at the ALS is used to develop new technologies that continue to shape our everyday lives such as faster computer chips, more efficient fuel cells, lighter jet engines, and even new drug treatment therapies.

John’s work at the ALS focuses on understanding fundamental changes to bone structure in osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) that may play a role in its brittleness. He uses x-ray micro-computed tomography, an imaging technique for examining tiny, 3-D structures inside a material. Although similar in principle, the tomography system at the ALS is different from a typical CAT scan that one might receive at a hospital because it can resolve structures over ten times smaller than a human hair. By comparing these 3-D characteristics to mechanical properties such as strength and toughness, John hopes to improve our understanding of OI. This information is vital to the discovery and evaluation of new assessment techniques and treatment strategies.

Alexander Griffin Presents Poster

Tech4POD researcher and Marquette pre-doctoral candidate, Ben McHenry, worked with Alex Griffin, a Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) medical student (M1), to complete a fluoroscopy project this summer. Alex was supported by the MCW research program for medical students. The work was presented at the MCW Annual Research at the Medical College on Thursday, October 4, 2012.

Alexander Griffin presents a poster

The research examined shod(SH) vs. barefoot(BF) kinematics among normal individuals using fluoroscopic gait analysis.

Currently gait analysis techniques rely on external markers to quantify kinematic results. The external markers, however only approximate the underlying bony anatomy, and analysis of shod feet is severely restricted. Fluoroscopic analysis by comparison, eliminates the need for external markers by utilizing bony landmarks to create a coordinate system. This allows for the analysis of shod feet providing more relevant clinical data. The fluoroscopic work in this project is supported by the RERC Project D3.

Fluoroscopic Assessment of Hindfoot Kinematics During Gait: Comparison of Barefoot and Shod Motion (1.7 MB)


Tech4POD Exhibit at AACPDM

Tech4POD Exhibited at the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) in Toronto, September 12-15. Thanks to Dr. Li-Qun Zhang (Co-PI) and Dr. Deborah Gaebler-Spira (Co-I, R3 and D2, Staff D1) who hosted the display, disseminated program information and answered questions regarding program progress and opportunities.

The theme of the this year's meeting was Creating Connections. As in past years, the meeting provided dissemination of information in the basic sciences, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and technical advances as applied to persons with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities.

Tech4POD Breaks Bad

Tech4POD at Taste of Milwaukee, 2012

Front row: Jeff Kertis, Alyssa Paul, Deb Epps
Back row: Dr. Gerald Harris, Janelle Cross, Ryan Inawat, Ben McHenry, RJ Mitte, Tamara Cohen, Katie Konop, Carolyne Albert

Tech4POD researchers joined Breaking Bad cast member and disabilities advocate, RJ Mitte, at United Cerebral Palsy of Southeastern Wisconsin’s 30th Annual fundraising event, Taste of Milwaukee.

Perhaps surprising to some, Tech4POD researchers have a lot in common with actor RJ Mitte of AMC’s award winning show Breaking Bad. And perhaps even more surprising, that commonality is advocating for people with disabilities.

At the national rehabilitation engineering research center, Tech4POD (Technology for Pediatric Orthopaedic Disabilities), the researchers are actively focused on innovative technologies to improve the care, rehabilitation, and quality of life for children with orthopaedic disabilities such as cerebral palsy (CP), clubfoot, spinal cord injuries and osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease).

While RJ Mitte plays a character with cerebral palsy in Breaking Bad, he himself also has CP (although a milder form of the disability). Mitte has become a strong advocate and spokesperson regarding disabilities. He is involved with several organizations that raise awareness of equality and diversity and is a Celebrity Youth Ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy, which educates, advocates and provides support limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.

The Taste of Milwaukee fundraising event, held at the Hilton Hotel in March, offered delicious food from Milwaukee’s top chefs and proceeds help support the programs UCP offers to persons throughout southeastern Wisconsin, with not only with cerebral palsy, but other disabilities as well.