Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Engineering) (Queensland University of Technology)Associate Professor Little is a Principal Fellow in Spine Research with the Biomechanics and Spine Research Group, a collaborative research group with members from both QUT and the Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane. She leads the Spine Group, based at the Centre for Children's Health Research. Assoc/Prof Little's expertise is in computational modelling for biomedical applications and she has extensive experience in the application of engineering and mathematical simulation techniques, modelling of physiological systems and mechanical characterization of spine biomechanics. Her skills are broadly in the use of 3D simulation, finite element modelling, non-invasive patient imaging, and advanced manufacturing to develop fundamental understanding of spine biomechanics and to design bespoke solutions for individual patients (particularly paediatric) with spinal deformity. Assoc/Prof Little's research is in the field of Biomedical Engineering, with specific interest in:
- Application of finite element modelling and development of custom-code to simulate patient-specific anatomy and biomechanics, for planning surgery and to improve fundamental understanding of spine treatments.
- Use of non-invasive imaging and assessment methods to create an integrated and measurable representation of an individual patient’s external cosmesis and internal anatomy. This integrated approach is applied to assist surgeons in treatment planning.
- Imaging includes: 3D surface scanning, 3D clinical image reconstructions (MRI, CT, biplanar imaging from EOS), 3D image registration/processing
- Assessment methods include: pressure mapping, surface deformation mapping
- Development of new virtual workflows, and additive manufacturing specifications to develop externally fitted orthoses for treating patients with deformity
- Development of advanced virtual design and manufacturing methods to create custom solutions to improve patient care