Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab

The human musculoskeletal system is a remarkable engineering system that enables voluntary movement with inherent ease in healthy individuals. Yet, its complexity makes it difficult to understand and treat many orthopaedic pathologies. We study musculoskeletal biomechanics in the context of injury and disease using motion capture, medical imaging, computational modeling, and machine/statistical learning. Our ultimate goal is to integrate insights from our experimental and computational work in the development of effective rehabilitation strategies aimed at restoring and preserving pain-free mobility throughout the lifespan.

Faculty

Eni Halilaj

Eni Halilaj

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

I joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Fall 2018 and am establishing the CMU Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab, an interdisciplinary group seeking to understand and optimize movement mechanics in individuals with musculoskeletal pathologies.

Office
Scaife Hall 317
Phone
412-268-2183
Fax
412-268-3348
Email
ehalilaj@andrew.cmu.edu
Google Scholar
Eni Halilaj

Projects

Current projects in our lab focus on understanding how musculoskeletal structure and real-world movement biomechanics relate to primary/post-traumatic osteoarthrits and poor outcomes following orthopaedic surgeries. Additionally, we are developing tools to streamline patient monitoring out of the lab/clinic and assist clinicians with diagnostic, prognostic, and pre-surgical planning decisions.  

Research team

Sergiu Iliev

Sergiu Iliev

Doctorate

Eric Rapp

Eric Rapp

Doctorate

Nataliya Rokhmanova

Nataliya Rokhmanova

Doctorate

Soyong Shin

Soyong Shin

Masters

John Mangual

John Mangual

Undergraduate

Courses

Current courses

Course Course Name Location Units Semester Offered
24-351 Dynamics Pittsburgh 10 Fall

Publications

Full-length articles
  • Giori NJ, Radin J, Callahan A, Fries JA, Halilaj E, Re C, Delp SL, Shah NH, Harris AHS. “An Automated National Joint Replacement Registry Built from Passively Collected Information in the Veteran Healthcare Administration Electronic Health Record.” under review.
  • Thomas K, Kidzinski L, Halilaj E, Fleming SL, Venkataraman GR, Gold GE, Delp SL. "Automated Classification of Knee X-rays Using Deep Neural Networks Outperforms Radiologist." under review.
  • Halilaj E, Le Y, Hicks JL, Hastie TJ, Delp SL. “Modeling and Predicting Osteoarthritis Progression: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, v. 26 (12): pp. 1643-50, December 2018. (journal article)
  • Halilaj E, Rajgopal A, Fiterau M, Hicks JL, Hastie TJ, Delp SL. “Machine Learning in Human Movement Biomechanics: Best Practices, Common Pitfalls, and New Opportunities.”  Journal of Biomechanics, v.81: pp. 1-11, November 2018. (journal article)

  • Halilaj E, Hastie TJ, Gold GE, Delp SL. “Physical Activity Is Associated with Changes in Cartilage Microstructure.” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, vol. 26 (6): pp. 770-774, June 2018. (journal article)
  • Schreiber JJ, McQuillan TJ, Halilaj E, Crisco JJ, Weiss A-PC, Patel TK, Kenney DE, Ladd AL. “Changes in Local Bone Density in Early Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Osteoarthritis.” Journal of Hand Surgery, vol. 43 (1): pp. 33-38, January 2018. (journal article)
  • Fiterau M, Bhooshan S, Fries JA, Bournhonesque C, Hicks JL, Halilaj E, Re C, Delp SL. “ShortFuse: Biomedical Time Series Representations in the Presence of Structured Information.” Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, vol. 68: pp. 59-74, May 2017. (conference paper)
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Patel TK, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “Early Osteoarthritis of the Trapeziometacarpal Joint Is Not Associated with Joint Instability during Typical Isometric Loading.” Journal of Orthopaedic Research, vol. 33(11): pp. 1639-45, November 2015. (journal article)
  • Crisco JJ, Patel TK, Halilaj E, Moore DC. “The Envelope of Motion in the First Carpometacarpal Joint.” Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, vol. 137(10): p. 101002, October 2015. (journal article)
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Patel TK, Laidlaw DH, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “Older Asymptomatic Women Exhibit Patterns of Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Space Narrowing that Precede Changes Associated with Early Osteoarthritis.” Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 48(13): pp. 3634-40, October 2015. (journal article)
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Moore DC, Laidlaw DH, Ladd AL,Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “In Vivo Recruitment Patterns in the Anterior Oblique and Dorsoradial Ligaments of the First Carpometacarpal Joint.” Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 48(10): pp. 1893–8, July 2015. (journal article)
  • Crisco JJ, Halilaj E, Moore DC, Patel TK, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC. “In Vivo Kinematics of the First Carpometacarpal Joint during Thumb Extension-Flexion and Abduction-Adduction.” Journal of Hand Surgery, vol. 40(2): pp. 289–96, February 2015. (journal article)
  • Conconi M, Halilaj E, Parenti Castelli V, Crisco JJ. “Is Early Osteoarthritis Associated with Differences in Joint Congruence?” Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 47(16): pp. 3787–93, December 2014. (journal article)
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Patel TK, Laidlaw DH, Ladd AL, Weiss APC, Crisco JJ. “Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Congruence during Functional Tasks and Thumb Range-of-Motion Activities.” Conference Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 4354-7, November 2014. (conference paper)
  • Moore DC, Halilaj E, Patel T, Crisco JJ. “CT Image-Based Kinematic Analysis: An Overview.” Handbook of Imaging in Biological Mechanics, edited by Corey P. Neu and Guy M. Genin, pp. 115–26, October 2014 by CRC Press. (book chapter)
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Laidlaw DH, Got CJ, Ladd AL, Weiss APC, Crisco JJ. “The Articular Morphology of the First Caprpometacarpal Joint Does Not Differ between Men and Women, but Changes with Aging and Early Osteoarthritis.” Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 47(11): pp. 2709–14, August 2014. (journal article)
  • Halilaj E, Laidlaw DH, Moore DC, Crisco JJ. “Polar Histograms of Curvature for Quantifying Skeletal Joint Shape and Congruence.” Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, vol. 136(9): pp. 094503, September 2014. (journal article)
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Schwartz JB, Got C, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Moore DC, Crisco JJ. “In Vivo 3D Kinematics of the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint during Three Isometric Functional Tasks.” Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, vol. 472(4): pp. 1114-22, April 2014. (journal article)
  • Halilaj E, Laidlaw DH, Moore DC, Crisco JJ. “How Do Sex, Age, and Osteoarthritis Affect Cartilage Thickness at the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint? Insights from Subject-Specific Cartilage Modeling.” Bio-imaging and Visualization for Patient-Customized Simulations, Lecture Notes in Computational Vision & Biomechanics, vol. 13: pp. 103-11, January 2014. (conference paper)
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Got C, Moore DC, Crisco JJ. “An Anatomical Coordinate System for the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Based on Articular Surface Geometry.” Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 46(5): pp. 1031-4, March 2013. (journal article)
Conference abstracts

Podium talks
  • Thomsen W, Ferber R, Halilaj E. “Deep Neural Networks for Predicting Knee Joint Kinematics from Inertial Measurement Units.” Biennial Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics, Calgary, Canada, 2019.
  • Rajagopal A, Halilaj E, Kidzinski L, Hicks JL, Delp SL. “Biomechanics and Machine Learning: Current Successes and New Opportunities.” Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, Rochester, MN, 2018.
  • Hicks JL, Halilaj E, Rajagopal A, Ku J, Delp SL. “Allies or Adversaries? The Role of Statistical and Biomechanical Modeling in Improving Mobility.” Quadrennial World Congress of Biomechanics, Dublin, Ireland, 2018.
  • Halilaj E, Hicks JL, Ku J, Delp SL. “The Mobilize Center: Accelerating Movement Science with Big Data.” Biennial Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics, Brisbane, Australia, 2017.
  • Halilaj E, Le Y, Hicks JL, Hastie TE, Delp SL. “Predicting Phenotypes of Osteoarthritis Progression.” National Institutes of Health Big Data to Knowledge All Hands Meeting, Bethesda, MD, 2016.
  • Halilaj E, Le Y, Fries JA, Hicks JL, Hastie TE, Delp SL. “Characterizing Clinically Meaningful Phenotypes of Osteoarthritis Progression: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.” Biennial Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, Chicago, IL, 2016.
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Patel TK, Laidlaw DH, Ladd AL, Weiss APC, Crisco JJ. “Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Congruence during Functional Tasks and Thumb Range-of-Motion Activities.” Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Chicago, IL, 2014.
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Patel TK, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Stability Is Not Compromised in Early Osteoarthritis.” Quadrennial World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, MA, 2014.
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Laidlaw DH, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “The Articular Shape of the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Differs with Age, but Not Sex.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, New Orleans, LA, 2014 [& Annual Meeting of the Federation of European Societies for Surgery of the Hand, Paris, France, 2014].
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Got CJ, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “In Vivo 3D Kinematics of the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint during Three Isometric Functional Tasks.” International Thumb Osteoarthritis Workshop, Newport, RI, 2013.
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Laidlaw DH, Crisco JJ. “How Do Sex, Age, and Osteoarthritis Affect Cartilage Thickness at the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint? Insights from Subject-Specifc Cartilage Modeling.” Workshop on Bio-imaging and Visualization for Patient-Customized Simulations, International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention, Nagoya, Japan, 2013.
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Laidlaw DH, Crisco JJ. “In Vivo Modeling of the Anterior Oblique Ligament.” International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, Salt Lake City, UT, 2013.
  • Halilaj E, Moore DC, Tarrant JC, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “Rotation Axes of the Normal Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint during In Vivo Range-of-Motion Tasks.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Antonio, TX, 2013.
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Moore DC, Got CJ, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “Coupling of the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Motion during the Initiation of Jar Grasp, Key Pinch, and Jar Twist Tasks.” Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, Gainesville, FL, 2012.
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Moore DC, Got CJ, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “Inter-bone Joint Space Changes in the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint during Three Functional Tasks.” Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, Long Beach, CA, 2011.
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Schwartz JB, Moore DC, Got CJ, Weiss A-PC, Crisco JJ. “Arthrokinematics of the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint during Pinch and Grasp.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Long Beach, CA, 2011.

 

Posters and exhibits

  • Thomsen W, Ferber R, Halilaj E. “Predicting Joint Kinematics from Sensors with Varying Body-Segment Alignments.” International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, New York, NY, 2019.
  • Halilaj E, Fries J, Suarez P, Delp SL, Giori N. “Modular Hip Implants Are Associated with Increased Rates of Cardiotoxicity: Nation-Wide Data from the Veterans Health Administration.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Antonio, TX, 2019.
  • Thomas K, Kidzinski L, Halilaj E, Gold GE, Delp SL. “Automated Staging of Knee Osteoarthritis Using Deep Neural Networks Outperforms Radiologist.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Antonio, TX, 2019.
  • Suresha S, Kidzinski L, Halilaj E, Gold GE, Delp SL. “Automated Staging of Knee Osteoarthritis Severity from X-rays Using Deep Neural Networks.” Annual OARSI World Congress on Osteoarthritis, Liverpool, UK, 2018.
  • Giori NJ, Anderson-Smits C, Devlin V, Callahan A, Fries JA, Halilaj E, Tran E, Huddleston J. “Postmarket Surveillance for Orthopedic Devices: Current Approaches and Emerging Techniques.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, New Orleans, LA, 2018.
  • Shreiber JJ, McQuillan TJ, Halilaj E, Crisco JJ, Weiss APC, Ladd AL. “Local Bone Density Decreases in Early Osteoarthritis of the Trapeziometacarpal Joint.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, San Diego, CA, 2017.
  • Fiterau I, Fries JA, Halilaj E, Siranart N, Bhooshan S, Re C. “Similarity-Based LSTMs for Time-Series Representation Learning in the Presence of Covariates.” Representation Learning in Artificial and Biological Neural Networks, International Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, Barcelona, Spain, 2016.
  • Crisco JJ, Patel TK, Halilaj E, Moore DC, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC. “Does Pain and Loss of Function Correlate with Joint Morphology in CMC OA?” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Orlando, FL, 2016.
  • Crisco JJ, Halilaj E , Moore DC, Patel TK, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC. “Thumb Carpometacarpal Motion In Vivo Illustrates a Highly Complex Joint with Coupled Rotations and Translations.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Las Vegas, NV, 2015.
  • Patel TK, Halilaj E , Rainbow MJ, McAllister SM, Crisco JJ, Moore DC. “Effect of Scanning Parameters in the CT-Based Kinematic Analysis.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Las Vegas, NV, 2015.
  • Crisco JJ, Halilaj E, Moore DC, Patel TK, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC. “Kinematics of the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint.” Quadrennial World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, MA, July 2014.
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Tarrant JC, Schwartz JB, Laidlaw DH, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Moore DC, Crisco JJ. “Modeling the Thumb Carpometacarpal Beak Ligament Elongation In Vivo.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Antonio, TX, 2013.
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Got C, Moore DC, Laidlaw DH, Crisco JJ. “A Gender Study of Computer Generated Cartilage at the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Francisco, CA, 2012.
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Got C, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Moore DC, Crisco JJ. “Coupling of Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Motion during the Initiation of Jar Grasp, Key Pinch, and Jar Twist.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Francisco, CA, 2012.
  • Rainbow MJ,  Halilaj E, Kamal R, Crisco JJ. “Contributions of Cartilage and Ligaments to the Scaphoid Flexion Moment during the Dart Thrower’s Motion.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Francisco, CA, 2012.
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Schwartz JB, Got C, Ladd AL, Weiss A-PC, Moore DC, Crisco JJ. “Principal Curvature Analysis of the Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Long Beach, CA, 2011.
  • Rainbow MJ, Pfaff W H, Halilaj E, Schwartz JB, Moore DC, Laidlaw DH, Crisco JJ. “Validation of Computer Generated Carpal Cartilage Surfaces using μCT.” Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Long Beach, CA, 2011.
  • Halilaj E, Rainbow MJ, Patel N, Moore DC, Crisco JJ. “Topography of Subchondral Bone Surfaces in the Trapeziometacarpal Joint.” Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics, Providence, RI, 2010.
  • Halilaj E, Correia S, Laidlaw DH. “A Quantitative Tractography Approach for Exploring Associations between White Matter Pathways and Cognitive Function.” Annual Meeting of the International Society on Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden, 2010.
  • Halilaj E, Demiralp C, Correia S, Laidlaw DH. “Quantitative Tractography Metrics of White-Matter Integrity in Diffusion-Tensor MRI Using Diffusivity Scalars.” Annual Meeting of the International Society on Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Honolulu, HI, 2009.

 

Outreach

We organize Perry Initiative worshkops and National Biomechanics Day events in Pittsburgh. Contact us to learn more and get involved. 

Media mentions


Halilaj led workshop for high school girls

MechE’s Eni Halilaj partnered with the Perry Initiative and UPMC and Allegheny Health surgeons to host a hands-on workshop for 40 high school girls and teach them about the intersection of engineering and orthopaedics.

CMU Engineering

Step by step

New MechE faculty member Eni Halilaj applies biomechanics to treat and prevent musculoskeletal injuries and diseases.