The MoCA Lab to improve knee replacements gets under way

The MoCA Lab to improve knee replacements gets under way

The facility is located on the Poblenou campus and is managed by the Department of Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of the BCN MedTech research unit. It will be used to analyse and explore functionally and far more precisely patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the knee joint. It is to be carried out in collaboration with Hospital del Mar.


The BCN MedTech research unit, linked to UPF’s Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC), has launched the MoCA (Motion Capture and Analysis Lab) laboratory, within the framework of the project HOLOA – Clinical and virtual examination of patients for a holistic and objective description of the mechanisms of the progression of osteoarthritis-. It is directed by Jérôme Noailly and Miguel Ángel González Ballester, principal investigators of BCN MedTech, and by Laura Tío, Jordi Monfort and Juan Carles Monllau García, of the Cell Research on Inflammation and Cartilage group of the Hospital del Mar Research Medical Institute (IMIM).

The new facility will be used to analyse and explore functionally patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee with far greater precision than to date, the ultimate goal being to rationalize the use of non-conservative surgical solutions, such as the knee replacements with prostheses. It provides the ability to incorporate into patient analysis quantitative information on the general state of the biomechanical function of the body and on the impact of this state on a particular joint.

It will serve to design and power predictive, theoretical and clinical models that systematically combine clinical, biomechanical and biological data to improve the mechanical description of the relations between the various key factors of osteoarthritis: pain, patient function, knee morphology, cartilaginous tissue condition and inflammation.

The laboratory is equipped with a system of eight high resolution infra-red cameras and motion is captured on the basis of reflective markers spread over the patient’s body. The system can detect marker displacements of less than 0.1 millimetres with a capture frequency of 250 Hz. Motion capture is synchronized with two force plates and video cameras that allow performing integrated biomechanical analysis of the movements of the human body.

The MoCA laboratory is located on the UPF Poblenou campus, and is provided by the company BTS. It is managed by BCN MedTech’s Biomechanics and Mechanobiology area through the researcher Simone Tassani, and receives funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) in the framework of the HOLOA project, and the Ramón y Cajal fellowship by the researcher Jérôme Noailly.