A few words about me
Thanks for visiting! This website introduces my academic and (a few) personal interests. I am a Medical Engineer, currently a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. I work on the micromechanics of intervertebral disc, in particular related to the effect of needle puncture to the disc.
I obtained a PhD in Biomechanics in 2011 (you can download my thesis for more info), working on equine tendons mechnaical characterization with the aim of better understanding ultrasound propagation in this tissue.
I was always fascinated by physiology and by understanding the way the body works. When I faced the choice of what faculty I should enroll in, I had to decide between "the way the body works and how to repair it" (AKA medicine) or "the way the body works and how to produce spare parts" (AKA medical engineering). I went for the second, hoping it would spare me the view of blood and guts. Well, obviously I was wrong. And I was also wrong on the two definitions I had in mind, since the line separing medicine and medical engineering can be quite blurry.
I started growing an interest in biomechanics during the University years, when I started working on some academic projects about the modeling of different physiological and biomechanical problems, such as the thermoablation of liver tumors, the physics and data-processing involved in blood pressure sensing, the kinetics and dynamics of weight-lifting.
During my PhD and the following post doctoral research years I developed an interest in ultrasound applications in soft tissue. While echogrphy is the first association everybody does between the two, there LOTS of other quantitative ultrasound-based techniques. In particular, I worked on axial transmission in tendon (bursts of ultrasound waves propaating along the tendon) and on shear wave elastography, which I am developing in order to determine intervertebral disc mechanical properties.