Dr Dario Cazzola Wins Research Grant for International Collaboration

Dr Dario Cazzola has been awarded a research grant from the University of Bath International Relations Office that will support a new, international, collaborative project “Modelling and optimisation of human movement in sporting activities.”

Musculoskeletal modelling is an advanced biomechanical method that allows the i) estimation of internal loads when direct measures on anatomical structures are not practicable, and ii) the simulation of theoretical scenarios which are difficult to recreate in the real-world. Such a methodology becomes key in clinical or sporting settings for investigating the how a musculoskeletal disease progresses, or for predicting the optimal technique to improve human performance. However, there are not currently available methods that use accurate models to generate realistic and valid results without using advanced and complex algorithms.

This project will integrate cutting-edge methodologies (non-linear programming and musculoskeletal modelling) with the final aim of improving human function in sporting settings. This approach will be initially tested on sprint running with the final aim of identifying how sprinters should activate their muscles and choose a specific technique in order to maximise performance.

The successful validation of this method on sprint running will provide coaches and sprinter with a novel tool to explore optimal solution to improve performance. Once we will demonstrate this capability we will apply the same methodology to a wider range of sporting activities and more interestingly to the analysis of pathological gait on patients.

The proposed project will further expand the CAMERA international network and establish research collaboration with the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), which is one of the most important engineering schools in Europe. More specifically we aim to establish a long-lasting collaboration with the Simulation and Movement Analysis (SIMMA) Lab, which is led by Dr Gil Serrancolí, and will facilitate PhD student exchange and mentoring with the Applied Biomechanics Suite (ABS) Lab and the Department of Computer Science of the University of Bath. This is key for the creation of European research hubs.

Written by CAMERA Centre Coordinator