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Surface scanning in scoliosis

Study level

Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/Lead unit

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Caroline Grant
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine which also affects surrounding structures such as the rib cage.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis is the development of a scoliotic curve in other wise healthy adolescents. Teenagers with this condition undergo x-ray monitoring of their condition every 4-12 months for many years, which can have dramatic effects on their long-term cancer risk.

In scoliosis we believe there is a strong correlation between the externally visible anatomy of the torso and the internal anatomy of the spine and rib cage.

Modern non-invasive non-irradiating techniques present new possibilities for developing monitoring techniques. 3D non-contact surface scanning is one such technique that allows the user to capture a full 3D model of the external surface of a person or object.

Research activities

Your involvement as part of this research will include:

  • performing a series of 3D scans of patients in the spine clinic at Queensland Children's Hospital
    • this depends on availability of other operators and your suitability
  • processing of 3D scans to generate 3D models
  • development and validation of 3D analysis techniques to monitor for change in torso anatomy


We expect this work will result in a form of publication.

Skills and experience

We expect you to have the following experience with any 3D CAD or modelling software.

MATLAB is not necessary but it would be ideal.



Contact the supervisor for more information.