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Press Releases

The Spine Research Institute Opens New State-of-the-Art Facility

One of Ohio State University’s Leading Think Tanks Taps OptiTrack Motion Capture Technology to Break New Ground in Spinal Disorder Research

Corvallis, OR (May 17, 2015) – The globally renowned Spine Research Institute (SRI) at Ohio State University (OSU) aims to prevent, evaluate and treat spinal disorders through collaborative research, education and technology development. Led by research pioneer and OSU professor Dr. William Marras, the world-class entity recently relocated its core research engine, known as the Biodynamics Laboratory, to a state-of-the-art facility equipped with advanced technology. Established by Dr. Marras in 1982, the lab now sits in a new 10,000 square foot space and features an expanded motion capture volume outfitted with 36 OptiTrack Prime 41 cameras and OptiTrack’s Motive software.

OSU Presentation

“Optical motion tracking is an important tool for helping the SRI achieve its mission of improving the way we prevent, evaluate, and treat spine disorders,” explained SRI Research Engineer Jon Dufour. “System dynamics significantly influence forces generated in the spine and other parts of the body; accurately measuring an individual’s kinematics is a critical first step to understanding what forces they are exposed to and determining whether they will be at risk for injury.”

OSU Presentation

Founded in 2012, the SRI unites experts from OSU’s College of Engineering and College of Medicine with the purpose of reducing the physical, emotional and financial suffering imposed by back pain. The SRI’s core approach focuses on the identification of specific disorder causal pathways. Once these pathways are discovered, the SRI can use gained knowledge to help prevent similar injuries from occurring, improve patient health through safer practices and return healed employees to work.

One of the tools the SRI uses to help discover disorder causal pathways is an advanced, biologically driven dynamic modeling platform. Applications served by this platform range from relatively simple, such as a patented 15-minute video game for patients that can help doctors quantify spine impairment, to complex, like virtual surgery simulation before implementing the procedure in real life. Nearly all of the applications served by the modeling platform use some form of motion capture, and most frequently the SRI employs an OptiTrack system.

OSU Presentation

“The SRI covers a lot of ground across several industries and applications, and we are often using technologies and software packages in unique ways. Motive’s flexibility as well as its ability to communicate and interface with external software packages such as Matlab allow us to capture the various data required; OptiTrack’s customer support is also integral to the process,” said Dufour.

Another important tenet of the SRI is an emphasis on Research-Into-Practice. Beyond lab studies, the SRI strives to ensure that the technologies and services it has developed reach the people and companies they are designed to benefit. In the SRI’s ergonomics division, known as SRI-Ergo, Certified Professional Ergonomists (CPE) help industry partners drastically decrease injury rates, which returns employees to the workforce and ultimately strengthens a company’s bottom line.

OSU Presentation

Noted Dufour, “Our industry partners generally need cost-effective solutions, and they need them relatively quickly. The flexibility of our OptiTrack systems has allowed us to fully integrate motion capture into our models that are designed to serve this market, meaning we can deliver game-changing solutions faster and at a lower cost.”

Additional information on the SRI can be found here: For more information on how OptiTrack can be used for biomechanical analysis, please visit:

About Optitrack

OptiTrack creates the highest performing 3D tracking hardware and software available today and has become the largest motion capture provider in the world. By delivering the best 3D precision, simpler real time workflows, and free and open developer access, it has become the favorite of industry leaders in biomechanics, game and film production, university education and research, engineering, sports performance and injury prevention, and many others.

The OptiTrack product line includes motion capture software and high-speed tracking cameras, contract engineering services, the GEARS Sports training and fitting solution, and affiliate commercial tracking products TrackIR and SmartNav. The entire line is manufactured at it’s Corvallis, OR campus, enabling the industry’s lowest pricing by huge margins.

Notable engineering, biomechanics, and animation customers include:
The Ohio State University, Nike, The Mayo Clinic, Toronto Rehab, Cobra Golf, Under Armour, DX Sports Labs, The Performance Lab, Boeing, KMel Robotics, NASA, Harvard Medical School, Oculus VR, Lockheed Martin, John Deere, Mechdyne, Under Armour, Stanford University, Duke University, Laser Shot, Mitsubishi, and Dassault Systems. Entertainment customers include: Activision, Electronic Arts, 343 Industries, US Army Game, Cloud Imperium, Square Enix, Ready at Dawn, TV Globo, NetherRealm, Ubisoft, Rockstar Games, Crytek, Remedy, Game On Audio, The Moving Picture Company, Animatrik Film Design, and other top studios and developers around the world.