Brittle bone research to benefit elderly

A Queensland researcher is conducting research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of bone disorders.

A Queensland University of Technology medical engineer and PhD researcher is using a Smart State Scholarship to improve understanding of bone fractures.

According to Victoria Toal who will be conducting the research, it is important to improve methods for detecting at-risk people as osteoporosis is often undiagnosed until a fracture occurs.

One in two women and one in three men over the age of 60 will experience an osteoporotic fracture, leading to an increased risk of further bone damage.

But Ms Toal said her research would provide valuable information about active and positive ageing.

“This research is particularly relevant in helping our ageing population to continue to live healthy and active lives.”

The study will use high resolution medical imaging, computer models and experimental tests to explore the impact of high loading events.

“The laboratory testing will involve placing bone samples through carefully controlled stress, compression and tension tests and studying how they behav,” she said.

“The experimental results will be used to develop a computer model that will provide a tool to aid diagnosis and treatment of bone disorders.”

Ms Toal received $21,000 in funding for the research.

The Smart State PhD Scholarships program is part of the Queensland Government’s $200 million Smart State Innovation Funds.

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