I have been experimenting with bone since childhood, mostly by trying to break my own in all kinds of sporting endeavours. After finishing school, I decided to take that passion to a professional level and study Biomedical Engineering. In my Bachelors Degree I specialised in Cell & Tissue Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien and in my Masters Degree I specialised in Biomaterials & Biomechanics at the Vienna University of Technology. Over that time I researched in the laboratory of cell proteomics (CeBiTec Bielefeld, D); modelled the human respiratory tract (Air Liquide R&D Innovation Campus Paris, F); encapsulated cells in biodegradable hydrogels with two-photon polymerization (2PP) (TU Wien) and investigated biodegradable Magnesium-Alloys to be used as screws and plates for the recovery of broken bones (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology). Working in the commercial field of cardiac rhythm management, let me witness first hand the positive impact our work can have on society. My love for research has never left me, so I was delighted to return to the TU Wien and explore the mechanical properties of bone in my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Phillip Thurner and Prof. Dieter Pahr. Despite a continuing urge to throw my body off, over and into all kinds of sports I’ve not managed to break it yet, this experiment is still ongoing.
My research aims to identify the material properties of trabecular bone based on mechanical testing of individual trabeculae as a function of age and disease. This has required development of a novel test set up which makes use of 3D printing, DIC (Digital Image Correlation) and uCT (micro Computed Tomography) scans. This allows us to obtain quantitative measurements of the mechanical properties of bone on the tissue level (micro-meter scale) which will begin to help us to better model the behaviour of human bone.