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Research Roadmap 2021-2022

CDMI Mission

The mission of the Center for Disruptive Musculoskeletal Innovations (CDMI) is to address pressing societal needs associated with the growing burden of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Area of interest across all priority areas – Meta-analysis & development of new test standards, approaches, and test methods; prediction and prevention of MSK injury; prediction and prevention of treatment complications; understanding the multidimensionality of MSK pain; Cross-site validation of computational modeling and simulation

Advanced Science Projects – examples but not limited to:

  • Bone fracture

  • Better strategies for improving success in osteoporotic patients (including treatment)

  • 3D printing of tissues to reduce need for metal/screws

  • Causes of and recovery from musculoskeletal fatigue

  • Causal pathways between work organizational/psychosocial influences and tissue loading

  • Causal pathways between pain and function and biology and mechanics

  • Aging population issues (e.g., changes in tissue tolerances, as a function of force, duration, frequency/repetition; recovery time of soft tissue after loading is removed)

  • Regenerative medicine, biologics

  • Mechanisms of back pain and disc degeneration

  • Biomechanical shoulder modeling (e.g., as a function of arm position, load magnitude, velocity and acceleration of movements

  • Influence of genetics in injury

  • Early onset scoliosis/adolescent idiopathic scoliosis/spinal deformity

  • Novel technologically-advanced clinical screening and intervention

Biomaterials – examples but not limited to:

  • Bone substitute materials that can provide structural integrity

  • Resorption of biomaterials and how to maintain structural integrity

  • Surface modification of materials for antibacterial or better osseointegration properties

  • Bioresorbable cements suitable for fracture healing, drug delivery, etc.

  • High strength, high stiffness, high elongation metallic alloys (e.g. MoRe alloy)

  • Fundamental understanding of how material properties relate to bone growth, inflammation, and infection

Clinical Outcomes – examples but not limited to:

  • Exposures for secondary injury, particularly to the back

  • Metrics and diagnostic tools for determining patient improvement/safe return-to-work practices

  • Predictive analytics/Artificial intelligence to determine the ‘right’ procedure and success potential for a specific patient/pathology

  • Incorporating new information streams into clinical decision-making (classification, education, documentation, standardization)

  • Digital health/methods to quantify of pain and future digital/sensor based (wearables) outcome measures

  • SMART devices

Economics Issues – examples but not limited to:

  • Voice of payors – how to protect existing product lines – maintain reimbursement

  • Products that generate clinical and economic value

  • Clarification of reimbursement pathways

  • Leveling the playing field regarding payors and their data

  • Infection

  • Patient preference: Assess patients’ appetite for risk in exchange for possible improvement in outcomes


Ergonomics Interventions examples but not limited to:

  • Improved return-on-investment estimators

  • Determination of trade-offs between potential improvement interventions

  • Worker training interventions for injury

  • Improved methods to assess/reduce risk due to pushing/pulling while turning


Innovative Technologies and Testing examples but not limited to:

  • Risk exposure analyses from Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) / wearable sensor data

  • Biomechanical evaluations of exoskeletons and exosuits

  • Improvements in risk assessment method accuracy/threshold guidelines (use of big data)

  • Development of composite risk indices, both body-part specific and whole body

  • Image guided/robotic surgery

  • Direct and indirect nerve detection & nerve health evaluation

  • Implantable sensors

  • Bone healing and fusion sensing devices

  • Tools/techniques for FDA-required unique identifiers 

Patient Assessment Toolsexamples but not limited to:

  • Application of imaging technology in orthopedics – detection of disc degeneration, loosening of devices, assessment of osteoporosis, risk of fracture evaluation

  • Functional testing


Other NSF initiatives – examples but not limited to:


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