Athlete centered: bridging the gap between labs and sports fields

ACES research mindmap

To excel in our multidisciplinary sports medicine care, the athletes presenting their clinical problems serve to focus our research lines covering improvements in the entire backbone of the clinical workflow (red blocks). Those improvements encompass two major components: fundamental research in biology and biomechanics of tissues (right arm) and innovation (middle arm) by applied biomedical and technical research and development including clinical trials and formation of guidelines to implement the new insights and make patients benefit. This view on research has led to several innovative developments for significantly improved diagnosis, interventions and rehabilitation protocols having a true impact on improving sports medicine healthcare. Examples are MRI DTI imaging, Lift, drill, fill and fix (LDFF) arthroscopic technique and the surgical steerable punch. In the near future, we elaborate our research to include preventive strategies by focussing on risk profiling induced by big data sets coming from demographics, questionnaires, imaging, and computer modelling and to include improved rehabilitation by focussing on the implementation of eHealth and wearables technology in combination with our multidisciplinary expertise (blocks with blue text).

Healthy Patients
Team members
Grants & Awards

Cartilage – Ankle joint disorders

Within ACES a strong tradition has been built to focus research on joint disorders predominantly on the ankle that covers the entire workflow and innovation arms as covered by the mindmap. ACES is world leading in the research on osteochondral defects, ankle impingement and ankle sprains by introducing new imaging protocols (e.g. stress CT, noninvasive imaging biomarkers), arthroscopic techniques (e.g. waterjet based surgical drill), animal models (e.g. ankle of goats), and guidelines (e.g. ankle sprains) as well as clinical evaluation of early stage and fully development technologies (e.g. EXO-L brace).

Muscle, Tendon & Ligaments – Hamstrings, Achilles, Ankle & Knee

Within ACES the focus of research on muscles and tendons is predominantly on the hamstring muscles and Achilles tendon that covers the entire workflow and innovation arms as covered by the mindmap. Both acute and chronic injuries are studied for which new MRI techniques (e.g. MRI DTI imaging) and rehabilitation and prevention protocols (e.g. reinjury risk acute hamstring) are developed by studying risk factors and injury mechanism.

Bone – Ankle, Foot & Elbow

A direct link to high performance athletes is the treatment and prevention of (stress) fractures. The fundamental focus is on the determinants of bone healing and growth factors and the imaging of bone with dual energy and submillimetric CT scanning.

Friends of ACES

To continue our mission now an in the future, we are always looking for support on various levels:

  • Financial support to perform our long term fundamental and translational research lines
  • Curiosity driven support by students from different backgrounds including medicine, physiotherapy, biomedical engineering, biomedical sciences, movement science or equivalent.
  • Societal support by patients who present their clinical problems or agree to participate in our clinical trials.

For more information how to contribute please fill out the contact form.