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Legacy Biomechanics Laboratory

Designing, testing and evaluating new treatment modalities to advance the quality of patient care and outcomes.


The Legacy Biomechanics Laboratory was established in 1999 by Michael Bottlang, Ph.D, and Steven Madey, M.D. It serves as a resource for basic and applied research with the goal to design, test and evaluate new treatment modalities that will advance the quality of patient care and outcomes. Biomechanical engineering provides an important link between the knowledge base of expert scientists and clinicians and the development of new products by industry.

Research Focus:

The laboratory focuses on classical biomechanical research concerns to improve the treatment of orthopedic injuries, and the prevention of traumatic injuries. As such, it relies on close collaboration between biomechanical engineers and orthopedic surgeons.

Collaborations with the Level 1 Trauma Center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and with Legacy's orthopedics department have produced compelling findings that have led to the development of new devices and processes which addressed unmet needs. 

Notable accomplishments include:

Pelvic Sling

Pelvic Sling

An alliance with Legacy trauma surgeons to develop a device to stabilize pelvic fractures in emergency situations following traumatic crushing injuries resulted in the design, development and patenting of the Pelvic Sling. The device was licensed to a local manufacturer, and to date more than 300,000 have been sold worldwide.

Rib Plate System

Rib Plate System

Developed and prototyped a rib plate system to manage flail chest injury that combines the advantages of soft tissue-sparing intramedullary fixation and anatomically pre-contoured plating. The system was licensed to a major international medical device manufacturer and is becoming the standard of care for flail chest.



Funding for projects of Dr. Bottlang’s research program has been solicited from the National Institute of Health: helmet research for brain injury prevention is funded by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); research on bone fracture treatment and tissue engineering was funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and  Muskuloskeletal and Skin Diseases; and research on pelvic stabilization has been funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), and the US Office of Naval Research. In addition, funding has been provided by Legacy Health's foundations.