The multidisciplinary team of the ISTB focuses on the advancement of surgical instruments and procedures using computer assistance and enabling technologies. Focus in biomechanics is on the application of mechanical principles to biological systems, combining novel experimental and computational models. A specific focus is on multi-scale structure-function relationships of bone tissue from the extracellular matrix to the organ level. Research interests range from the elucidation of lamellar bone theory up to failure mechanisms of the proximal femur. We are seeking to improve planning of computer aided interventions by developing and applying refined numerical techniques into the field of computer aided surgery.

Another focus is on development of smart information processing methods and enabling technologies to reconstruct 3D information from sparse data sets such as a limited number of X-ray or sparse ultrasound images, as well developing fully automatic X-ray, CT and MRI segmentation methods and comprehensive planning and navigation systems for hip preservation surgeries. We aim at effectively encompassing anatomical variability for the understanding of musculoskeletal diseases, the design of orthopaedic devices, and less-invasive, yet more effective orthopaedic surgical approaches. Similarly, we aim at designing planning and post-operative simulation algorithms and systems to assist plastic and cranio-maxillo facial surgeons.

We perform basic research in the area of tissue engineering using a cross-disciplinary approach of biology and mechanics in order to understand cellular response to biomechanical stimuli and to understand how cellular communities are affected in situ using 3D tissue and organ culture models.

Focus & Groups

  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics (MB)
  • Computational Bioengineering (CB)
  • Medical Image Analysis of the Musculoskeletal Apparatus (MIA)
  • Information Processing in Medical Interventions (IPMI)
  • Tissue and Organ Mechanobiology (TOM)


Prof. Dr. Lutz-Peter Nolte Prof. Dr. Philippe Zysset