Mr Colin Bright


Name Colin Bright
Biography Colin joined the Bioengineering Technology Centre in September 2012 as a combined MSc/PhD student studying spinal stress fractures. Colin completed an Honours Bachelor Degree in mechanical engineering in The Institute of Technology, Tallaght, achieving first class honours. Colin began his academic career as a part time student and was awarded the ITT Dublin Engineering Student of the Year award in 2009 and 2010. During this time, Colin also worked as a design/project engineer with Instant Upright, a supplier of bespoke access solutions. During his 10 years in this position Colin designed and project managed projects for the aviation, power generation, transport and general industrial sectors. Most recently Colin completed the Certificate in Medical Sciences (CMedSci) in the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin.
Colin is funded by the Irish Research Council under the EMBARK Postgraduate Scholarship scheme, and will transfer to the PhD register in March 2014.
Project Summary

In normal healthy bone, very small cracks form and heal on an on-going basis, these small cracks help the bone adapt to the loads it has to carry by directing bone repair and remodelling. When this repair process cannot keep up with the propagation and coalescence of cracks, a fracture can occur. The occurrence of such fractures in the lower lumbar segments of the spinal column of young athletes is a well-documented problem, and is given the clinical name spondylolysis. Fracture initiation in bone is known to be strain controlled, and the direction and magnitude of the principal strains can provide valuable information in the study of vertebral fractures.

The research will follow two parallel processes, the first utilising porcine spinal specimens in a fatigue study that will characterise the real strain fields in the vertebra and recreate the stress fracture. The second utilising validated finite element models, developed from CT scans of porcine vertebrae that will be used to predict the path of stress fractures in the FE model. In each case the work will be validated by comparison with clinical data, before being used for the development of novel surgical techniques and devices.

Publications [1] Colin Bright, Stephen Tiernan, Fiona McEvoy, Seamus Morris. The Optimisation of Posterior Spinal Dynamic Stabilisation Surgery. Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference of the Section of Bioengineering of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Jan 18th-19th 2013, Johnstown House Hotel
[2] Colin Bright, Stephen Tiernan, Fiona McEvoy, Pat Kiely. Determination of Magnitude and Direction of Maximum Principal Strain under Static Conditions in the Porcine Pars Interarticularis, a Validated FEA Study. Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of the Section of Bioengineering of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Jan 24th-25th 2014, Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick.
  • European Union Structural Funds
  • Synergy Centre at ITTEngineering Dublin
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