The Stryker/ORS Women’s Research Fellowship promotes women in science by providing an opportunity for a female ORS member who is a recent PhD in science or engineering to conduct research in the field of orthopaedic technology. The Fellowship provides one year of support in the amount of up to $50,000 for eligible applicants.
Last year’s recipient, Amanda Wach, Research Engineer at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Biomechanics, shares her experience:
What is your specific area of research?
Tibiofemoral dynamic gait kinematics and contact mechanics after soft tissue injuries and surgical interventions
What was the title of the project you submitted for the Stryker/ORS Women’s Research Fellowship?
Changes in Dynamic Tibiofemoral Contact Mechanics and Kinematics after Surgical Intervention for the Treatment of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears
What are the specific aims of your project, and what were the results?
The goal of this study is to quantify changes in joint contact mechanics and kinematics after ACL transection, repair, and reconstruction across simulated activities of daily living. We developed a system to quantify the 6 degree of freedom kinematics of human cadaveric knees when subjected to multi-directional dynamic forces that mimic gait on the AMTI VIVO. We modified the control system of the commercially available gait simulator to ensure the test system can apply prescribed ASTM and ISO standard gait inputs within a small number of cycles.
What is the significance of your findings to the orthopaedic field and their potential impact on patient care?
The ability to apply dynamic, multidirectional, and physiological loads across human knees, using a commercially available simulator is unique and a major advance in the field of knee biomechanics. We will publish our methods so that all laboratories who wish to quantify the biomechanical consequences of soft tissue injury/repair can use our approach. The direct impact on clinical care will only be realized when we quantify the physiological effects of soft tissue injury (for example ACL rupture or partial meniscectomy) and surgical intervention. Although we could not test a sufficient number of samples in these conditions within the timeframe of the study, we will continue to test these conditions for the remainder of 2019. The publication of this data will cite Stryker/ORS for supporting our research.
How has winning the fellowship impacted your career?
The biggest impact of this fellowship for my career was giving me the freedom to specialize my research and prioritize the development of this novel testing model.
In your spare time, what do you do for fun?
I play on a competitive women’s ultimate frisbee team in NYC.