Life Sciences Insights & Careers in Biomedical Engineering

Exponent Presents at Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Seattle

October 11 - 14, 2023
Medical professional reviewing x-ray scans of spines

At the 2023 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting, attendees can explore the latest life sciences insights and opportunities for careers in biomedical engineering from Exponent's biomechanics and biomedical engineering consulting experts. Hear about a novel spinal cord injury pilot study conducted with post-mortem human subjects from Liz Rapp van Roden, Ph.D., and gain firsthand knowledge about pursuing a consulting career in forensic biomedical engineering for litigation matters in a panel discussion with Yashar Aucie, Ph.D.

BMES Annual Meeting participants will also have the opportunity to connect with our life sciences consulting experts at a luncheon panel and industry mixer. Learn more below.


"Mechanical Properties of Spines with Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis vs. Healthy Spines: A Pilot Cadaveric Study"

THURSDAY, OCT. 12 | 9:00-9:15 A.M.  

Speaker: Liz Rapp van Roden, Ph.D., Managing Scientist, Biomechanics

The prevalence of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), characterized by ossification of connective tissue along the anterior and lateral surfaces of contiguous vertebrae, most commonly in the thoracic region, has been reported to be as high as 15-25% in adults over 50. The condition results in a stiffened spine with increased kyphosis compared to a healthy spine. To our knowledge, none of the prior literature has quantified differences in mechanical response through testing of post-mortem human subjects. This study piloted a comparison of the mechanical properties of a healthy spine to those of a spine with DISH, demonstrating that the DISH spine will not accommodate imposed bending and is likely more susceptible to injury even in lower loading environments. The results support previous biomechanical theories about DISH spines and encourage further investigation to quantify DISH for spinal injury potential.

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