At the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics (IBO) we study and investigate the movements, the structure and function of the human body and its components in a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary approach linking mechanics, neurophysiology and biology.



Modern societies have long recognized the negative effects caused by physical inactivity through a sedentary life style or immobilization. Though only in recent years has the substantial benefit of exercise and physical activity been noted. The exact relationship between mechanical stimuli and the adaptation of the neuro-musculoskeletal system on all levels however remains poorly understood. It is therefore our goal to unravel this relationship and the underlying mechanisms to optimize the performance and health of the human body system over the entire life span in order to maintain or improve well-being.

In particular, we focus on understanding the interrelations between neural control mechanisms, mechanical loading, and long and short term adaptations of the neuro-musculoskeletal system. To enable this approach we have created an interdisciplinary and multiscale research environment. Within our facilities and competencies we unite the possibilities to answer highly specific research questions from three core areas (as outlined below) while simultaneously addressing how these interact. This unique constellation allows us to investigate the human body from single cells to the whole organism.

We investigate how humans interact with their environment in various settings of physical activity ranging from everyday life and work place situations to clinical rehabilitation contexts as well as to training in general and elite sports environments. In variable and multiple arrangements, the institute has taken a  translational approach to develop techniques, applications and therapies that avert bio-negative reactions such as injuries and degeneration, and generate bio-positive responses to prevent damage and improve function and performance. The strength of the institute’s basic and applied research is the capability and competence to incorporate different levels of study which is extremely valuable in translating findings between the different research approaches.