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Projects in the MoJo

Submitted by nancy.whelan on Thu, 04/20/2017 - 10:12am

CURRENT PROJECTS IN THE MoJo

The Centre for Mobility and Joint Health (MoJo) is designed to accelerate solutions to bone and joint problems, and translate basic science into real-world clinical solutions. It is a hub, where physicians, basic scientists, biomedical engineers, patients and the Alberta health system collaborate to keep Albertans moving.

Examples of current projects:

Study aims to improve early detection of osteoarthritis after knee injury

A tumble on the ski hill or a slip on the sidewalk can prove to be traumatic on the knees short-term and potentially long-term. Suffering a knee injury increases the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. Now a researcher in the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary is embarking on a new study to change the negative outcomes associated with knee injuries with new diagnostic techniques that will monitor the body for changes immediately following an injury. 

 “Currently, the gold standard of diagnosis is to use X-ray on knee injuries,” says McCaig Institute researcher Janet Ronsky, “However, that only works once physical breakdown of cartilage can be viewed. At that point we have much less chance of changing the progression the disease.”

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Vitamin D and bone health

Heather Giuffre and her husband, Michael, are participants in a research study looking at the effects of calcium and Vitamin D supplements on bone health. “My mom has osteoporosis, and so do a number of our extended family members. We’ve seen first-hand the effects of poor bone health, and we want to do what we can to avoid it,” says Heather, who loves to play tennis and work-out at the gym.

Using state-of-the-art MRI and CT imaging equipment in the Centre for Mobility and Joint Health (MoJo) researchers are developing innovative ways to scan patients to detect bone conditions earlier, so that treatment or preventative measures can be started before damage is irreversible.

This research study is truly "out of this world"

Ten astronauts are part of a research study lead by Steven Boyd that looks at the effect of space flight on bone health.

The study, dubbed “T-Bone,” is sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency and uses a new 3D imaging technology based on high resolution computed tomography. This type of bone scan measures bone density and structure, allowing scientists to distinguish changes to bone health and strength that occur in microgravity or extended periods of  immobilization.

“This is really a model of accelerated aging,” says Boyd. “What we can learn in six months of space flight would take us decades on earth.”