Friday, November 17, 2017

URSP Student Connor Stapp Creates a Biomechanical Model of the Pelvic Floor

The project that I’m working is to create a biomechanical model of the pelvic floor in order to better predict the forces placed on these muscles during pregnancy and how they are related in the development of pelvic floor disorders. I chose this project because there is a need for a tool that can be used for predictions on whether a pregnant woman is at risk for developing pelvic floor disorder due to giving vaginal birth. Through creating a model that could help predict a woman’s risk, it could help determine that the risk is low for developing pelvic floor disorders and a doctor could recommend giving vaginal birth or it could determine that the risk is high and the doctor could recommend a C-section.

Long term it’s my intention to move from the field of bioengineering into the field of rehabilitation. In order to properly rehabilitate an individual, it’s necessary to understand how current models were created and what their limitations are. By working on this project, it’s giving me a firsthand experience on not only what it’s like creating a new model from scratch but also be able to determine the limitations that the model has. By understanding the limitations of current models and through conducting research, it’s possible to improve these models in order to better represent the system that’s being modeled.

On a weekly basis, I read literature that’s been published in order to determine how current models are able to simulate the birthing process as well as to obtain a greater depth of information on how these specific muscles are able to perform their intended function. While working on this project this semester, I found that it’s massively important to continuously keep in contact with my mentors and the doctors that we’re working with in order to make sure that the model is staying as accurate as possible to the biological system.