At the 7th World Congress of Biomechanics, a team of researchers from Aalborg University, Radboudumc, Materialise (Leuven, Belgium) and the University of Twente have been awarded the first prize in the Grand Challenge competition. This competition is a worldwide endeavour in which researchers are challenged to predict loads in the knee joint of a patient who has received a total knee replacement. The competition is also conceived in the effort to provide researchers with a unique opportunity to validate their musculoskeletal models, and to gain consent in clinical practice.
The knee prosthesis is provided with telemetric force measuring sensors. The researchers are provided with freely available information about the patient (fluoroscopy, CT images and motion data), except the measured knee joint forces in a first stage. With the patient's data, a patient-specific musculoskeletal model can be built (figure 2) and the forces in the knee can be calculated. The research group that predicts forces with the smallest errors relative to the measured forces wins the competition. This year's competition also included evaluation criteria such as: significance, technical content, completeness, accuracy, and novelty. The research group with graduate student Marco Marra and Prof. Nico Verdonschot were the best team, and won the award which was sponsored by the National Institute of Health.
This year's was the fifth Grand Challenge edition and about 25 worldwide teams participated over the last five years. According to the chairman of the Grand Challenge, Prof. B.J. Fregly, was this year's winner better than ever before. With this award and recognition the Orthopaedic Research Laboratory can further expand the models towards patient-specific computer simulations and optimised treatment of orthopaedic patients.