Steven Boyd, PhD

Professor and Director, McCaig Institute

Medical imaging

Contact information


Office: 403.210.6774

Web presence

Lab website


Research interests

Dr. Boyd’s research is in the area of orthopaedic biomechanics. It focuses on adaptive changes to tissues that occur following a joint injury or disease, with particular interest in bone. His two main areas of research are (1) the development of simulation methods to investigate adaptive mechanisms in bone and their influence on tissue mechanics in joint diseases, and (2) the development of non-invasive methods using medical imaging techniques (CT, MR) to provide clinical quantitative assessment of tissue mechanics.??

Utilizing high resolution computed tomography (micro-CT) combined with finite element (FE) methods, simulation techniques are developed to understand the relation between local bone mechanics and adaptive processes in experimental injury models. This research involves the development of specialized FE methods for use with micro-CT data, and development of automated smooth-surface mesh generation for representation of the smooth bone architecture. Validation of the FE simulation techniques use specialized bone strain measurement devices in mechanical testing protocols and solid free-form manufactured models.

The non-invasive techniques developed for research into adaptation mechanisms are ideal for cross-over into the clinic to quantitatively monitor bone quality (morphology and mechanics) in patients. Chronic studies using magnetic resonance and computed tomography imaging investigate changes in bone quality through the course of a disease such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. Work to overcome resolution limitations in clinical scanners is based on algorithms for implicit representation of the 3D image data, and these representations are being used to develop improved segmentation, registration and visualization methods.

An important research tool utilized in Dr. Boyd’s laboratory include micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). We have facilities for in vivo animal measurements (vivaCT 40, Scanco Medical, Switzerland) and in vivo peripheral human measurements (XtremeCT, Scanco Medical, Switzerland).

Read more about Dr. Boyd's research here (vitamin D study)