18 – 23 September 2023 Athens, Greece

Pre-Conference Seminars

The pre-conference Seminars will be held in the Conference Room 1, Level 1 – floorplan is available here.

Please note that the Seminars run in parallel with the Gait Course.


Tuesday 19 September

08:30 – 12:30 Markerless Motion Analysis

13:30 – 17:30 Smart gaming for remote rehabilitation, a “hands-on” workshop

Wednesday 20 September

08:30 – 12:30 Improved understanding and treatment of altered muscle function in children with cerebral palsy

13:30 – 17:30 Introduction to musculoskeletal modeling

Tuesday 19 September at 08:30 – 12:30

Markerless Motion Analysis

Motion capture is an important component of gait analysis. The quality of the kinematic data obtained from motion capture systems directly affects the fidelity of the gait study. Marker-based motion analysis utilizes precision cameras that track the spatiotemporal propagation of markers that have been carefully positioned on the subject’s body. Two main limitations of this method are the high cost of the imaging setup along with the high level of experience, skill and time dedication required in the marker placement process. These factors constrain the data acquisition component of gait analysis to only occur in highly specialized laboratories, which might not always be accessible to a patient affected by a gait disorder. Additionally, in some cases, the marker-placement process can be challenging for the patient who has to stand upright for a prolonged amount of time.

Markerless Motion Analysis can help eliminate the above problems since gait kinematic measurements are obtained via a pose detection library leveraging deep learning to identify key points on every captured frame of the human body. The main advantage of this method is the straightforward data acquisition process, where multiple synchronized videos that show the patient walking from different viewing angles are sufficient to obtain a 3D stick-figure of their gait. Additionally, the imaging setup in this method can be up to two orders of magnitude less expensive compared to marker-based methods.

In the Markerless Motion Analysis workshop we will go through the whole framework of motion analysis, providing the theoretical background as well as the software tools involved in the process. The workshop will guide the attendees through the milestones of:

  • camera selection,
  • camera setup and calibration,
  • video synchronization,
  • keypoint detection,
  • pose reconstruction,
  • utilization of state-of-the-art vision methods to improve the reconstruction accuracy,
  • application of inverse kinematics and inverse dynamics in obtaining significant dynamic data from the 3D trajectories.

The workshop will showcase the portability and accessibility of the framework, and demonstrate a real-life example case, to explain how it can be of use to medical professionals.

The workshop is organized by the Control Systems Laboratory of the National Technical University of Athens, in Greece. The presenters’ specialization is in robotics and in computer vision. The workshop aims to present and explain the technical aspects of the framework, and to introduce the participants to the software tools. As such, it is designed to appeal to medical professionals as well as to engineers, with various levels of experience.


Athanasios Mastrogeorgiou (Thanasis)

Athanasios Mastrogeorgiou (Thanasis)

Thanasis received his BSc in Applied Informatics from the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki in 2008, his MSc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh & his MSc in Automation from the National Technical University of Athens, in 2009 and 2013 respectively. His research focuses on perception, motion planning, and control for biomimetic legged robots so that they can handle rough terrains and slopes.

Aikaterini Smyrli (Katerina)

Aikaterini Smyrli (Katerina)

Katerina is a Robotics researcher and a PhD student in the Control Systems Lab of the National Technical University of Athens. She has received a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (2017) and an MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London (2018). Her research interests are centered on biped robots, human locomotion and system dynamics.

Tuesday 19 September at 13:30 – 17:30

Smart gaming for remote rehabilitation, a “hands-on” workshop

Remote rehabilitation is an attractive concept because it enables patients to perform therapeutic exercises from home, under the direct supervision of their therapist. When the exercises are packaged as smart games, playing with the therapist or with other patients remotely adds a strong motivational element. In spite of the positives, the technical complexity of setting up remote rehabilitation limits its penetration into clinical practice. 

In this workshop after setting the context, we will guide you to build a simple smart game in Motek’s D-Flow environment to exercise coordinated movements of the arm/shoulder by playing Pong (celebrating the first video game’s 50th anniversary). The hand movement will be tracked by Leap Motion Controllers to drive the paddles in real time, and you will code the game logic in Lua. After building the single player variant, you will connect to another “remote” player through a local wireless network. 

This workshop will be of interest to the more technically minded movement analyst, but equally to the physiotherapist or surgeon who will learn first-hand what it takes to make it happen. No prior programming experience is required. 

We are working hard with the local organisers to realise our ambitious plan, but we also have several layers of fallback solutions to tackle any logistical or technical complications. Come back to this page to see the latest update as we move closer to the ESMAC week in September.

Update (15/07/2023): To whet your appetite, please see a video of the two-player Pong game developed in D-Flow, played over a WiFi network. After the workshop, two random winners will be drawn to receive their hand motion capture device to continue what we start in this session!

Prof. Gabor Barton (MD, PhD, FHEA)

Prof. Gabor Barton (MD, PhD, FHEA)

Professor of Clinical Biomechanics

Gabor Barton graduated as a medical doctor summa cum laude from the Medical University of Pécs in Hungary and moved into biomechanics research at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). He then took up a position in the NHS to run the clinical gait analysis laboratory of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. After returning to LJMU, Gabor obtained his PhD through developing artificial neural network based methods to aid clinical decision making in gait analysis of children with cerebral palsy. His main current research focus is virtual rehabilitation aiming to improve selective movement control. He is also performing clinical gait analysis coupled with research for all patients in the UK with alkaptonuria in the CMAS accredited Movement Function Research Laboratory. Gabor was member of the ESMAC Board and the ESMAC Gait Course Organiser between 2017 and 2022. 

 Mr Jacob Beesley (BSc, MSc)

Mr Jacob Beesley (BSc, MSc)

Teaching Fellow in Clinical Biomechanics

Jacob Beesley received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University in 20xx and 20xx respectively. After a short job as Technician, he is now a Teaching Fellow in Clinical Biomechanics at LJMU working closely with Gabor. His current job involves running clinical gait analysis of patients with alkaptonuria, research with the most recent focus on gait modifications with real-time feedback of joint loading, neural network based recognition of daily living activities, implications of comparing gait to speed-matched controls, and some gait analysis related teaching.

Both at: Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK. 

Remote contributor:

Dr Malcolm Hawken (BA Eng, PhD), Visiting Research Officer in Biomechanics, RISES, LJMU) 

Kindly supported by:

Wednesday 20 September at 08:30 – 12:30    FULLY BOOKED

Improved understanding and treatment of altered muscle function in children with cerebral palsy, by integrating macro- and microscopic muscle properties with neuromuscular symptoms

Short abstract

The purpose of this seminar is to describe a comprehensive picture of altered muscles in growing children with cerebral palsy (CP), by integrating micro- and macroscopic morphological muscle properties with neuromuscular clinical symptoms and functional performance, in relation to treatment. Micro- and macroscopic changes in lower and upper limb skeletal muscles of children with CP, compared to age-matched peers, along with quantitative data on muscle spasticity, weakness, contractures and gait deviations will be presented. Integrated longitudinal data will be used to characterize different clinical presentations of children with CP, illustrated with representative clinical cases. Envisioned pathways to optimize treatment at the muscular level, that eventually lead to improved movement patterns in CP, will be discussed.

Who can attend

The target audience include movement analysis specialists, physicians, physical therapists, and research professionals who wish to improve their knowledge on muscle behavior in children with CP. Participants will be encouraged to interpret integrated datasets from clinical cases.


A multidisciplinary team of clinical, translational and basic scientists will give a series of focused presentations, followed by time for Q&A and discussion. The presenting team represents a collaboration between different European research centers studying the morphology, behavior and plasticity of skeletal muscles in children with CP. Their expertise covers the entire picture, linking muscle behavior in gross motor function with detailed features at the neuromuscular, macroscopic, microscopic and molecular level, as well as features of muscle plasticity following different treatment strategies. This creates a unique multidisciplinary translational environment that may inspire a wide interest group of the ESMAC community and lively discussions on the complex nature of skeletal muscles in CP.

Presenting team:

  • Kaat Desloovere, from the department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Department of Development and Regeneration of the University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Lynn Bar-On, from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences of the University of Ghent, Belgium
  • Annemieke Buizer, from the Rehabilitation Medicine of the Amsterdam UMC and Amsterdam Movement Sciences, The Netherlands
  • Annika Kruse and Martin Svehlik, from the Department of Biomechanics (Training and Movement Science of the University of Graz and the Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma of the Medical University of Graz, Austria
  • Ferdinand Von Walden and Eva Pontén, from the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Seminar Agenda

Seminar Agenda

Improved understanding and treatment of altered muscle function in children with cerebral palsy, by integrating macro- and microscopic muscle properties with neuromuscular symptoms

08.30-08.45h:   INTRODUCTION by Kaat Desloovere

08.45-10.00h:   MUSCLE PROPERTIES OF LOWER AND UPPER LIMBS IN CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY Kaat Desloovere, Nathalie Debeukelaer, Eva Pontén, Ferdinand von Walden

10.00-10.10h:   QUESTIONING

10.10-10.30h:   BREAK


11.00-12.15h:   MUSCULAR CHANGES FOLLOWING TREATMENT IN CHILDREN WITH CERBRAL PALSY Annemieke Buizer, Babette Mooijekind, Kaat Desloovere, Britta Hanssen, Annika Kruse, Martin Svehlik, Eva Pontén



Wednesday 20 September at 13:30 – 17:30

Introduction to musculoskeletal modeling

OpenSim is an open source software system for biomechanical modeling, simulation and analysis. We will introduce OpenSim and demonstrate a typical musculoskeletal modeling workflow in OpenSim (using the GUI) with a hands-on example. Additionally, we give short presentations to highlight the added clinical value and potential of musculoskeletal simulations.

Participants should bring a laptop with OpenSim installed or be prepared to team up with other participants. OpenSim model files and setup files are written in xml mark down format. Notepad++ is a free text editor that makes it easier to view and edit these xml files.  During the workshop we will use Notepad++ to examine OpenSim files. Mokka can be used to visualize the input data (.c3d files). Hence, please download and install following software prior to the workshop.

Hans Kainz

Hans Kainz

Hans received his Mag. rer. nat. (equal to MSc) in Sport Science from the University of Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria) in 2010 and a MSc in Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien (Vienna, Austria) in 2012. He then completed his PhD in Biomechanics at Griffith University (Gold Coast, Australia) in 2016. From 2014 to 2016 Hans worked as a rehabilitation engineer at the Gait Laboratory of the Queensland Children‘s Hospital (Brisbane, Australia). Afterwards, from 2017 to 2020, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at KU Leuven (Leuven, Belgium). Since March 2020 Dr. Kainz is an Assistant-Professor at the University of Vienna (Vienna, Austria), where he established the Neuromechanics Research Group. His research group focusses on the use of neuro-musculoskeletal and multi-scale simulations to enhance our understanding of typical and pathological movements. In the long run, his group strives to improve clinical decision making in people with movement disorders and enhance evidence-based motor rehabilitation after injuries or orthopedic interventions.

Bryce Killen

Bryce Killen

Bryce got his PhD at Griffith University in Australia focussing on computational biomechanics after completing a human movement bachelors degree (like many ESMAC members) – showing that the use of these tools and OpenSim is not only for those with an engineering background. His PhD had a specific focus on OpenSim modelling, and the creating of subject-specific OpenSim models from medical imaging. Following his PhD, he has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven, Belgium again with a focus on OpenSim modelling. Specific topics of research include modelling the effect of shape variation on foot and ankle function, modelling the effect of insoles on gait kinematics, and functional biomarkers for knee OA progression. His current focus is on modelling knee OA patients with the vision of personalised gait and movement retraining. These modelling approaches are being combined with video-based analysis with a specific vision of clinical applications and bringing modelling to clinical practice for more informed patient assessment and monitoring.

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