Bill Pierce showing off a 3D model of a spine.

Feb 08, 2018 / Innovation

National Inventors' Day

At Scottish Rite Hospital, research is a key component to providing exceptional care to our patients. The hospital has several divisions and laboratories that create innovative materials and devices to enhance treatment or to provide a better lifestyle for a child. 

We are celebrating National Inventors’ Day by taking a tour of the hospital’s Biomechanics Lab to give a behind-the-scenes look at the innovative machines used to create devices that help our doctors provide the best care to our patients. 

What is a biomechanics lab?
  • Also known as a fabrication lab or machine shop.
  • Various machines are used by biomedical engineers to create and produce designs. 
  • The designs are then produced from the different machines, which help our medical staff to provide the best treatment to our patients. 
What are some of the different machines inside the Biomechanics Lab?

The Mill
  • Produces the invention. This machine brings a design to life so that it can be used for a patient’s treatment plan. 
  • The design can be produced in metal or plastic.
  • The machine compiles the measurements from the design created on the engineer’s computer.
    • Example: metal bone plate used for scoliosis surgery or a plastic device created for suction/irrigation during surgery.
3D Printer
  • Makes custom devices.
  • Provides surgeons with an anatomical model to help them better plan their surgery.
    • Example: a spine created from a CT scan (three-dimensional X-ray) to provide the surgeon a more hands-on view of the patient’s spine.
Material Testing Machine
  • The team likes to know how well the invention works. 
  • Applies forces to the device to make sure it is durable.
    • Example: spine screw – the material testing machine applies forces to simulate four months of a patient’s activity. 
Hand Grip Dynamometer
  • Created for our hand team to provide an alternative to the existing technologies that are inaccurate.
  • Measures the patient’s grip and pinch grip strength before and after hand surgery. 
Learn more about the Division of Bioengineering and Biomechanics. 
 

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