About simVITRO

simVITRO is a hardware neutral joint testing system born out of the BioRobotics and Mechanical Testing Core of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.

In most academic research centers, research fellows are typically charged with building and integrating their own robots for each new project. In 2005 the Cleveland Clinic took a different approach. In an effort to have a center of excellence and establish long term sustainability, Cleveland Clinic assembled the simVITRO team to provide robotic services for a variety of biomechanical research programs. Rather than reinventing the wheel with each investigation, the team developed the capabilities to build and optimize robots that can handle any joint, any load, and any range of motion. In addition, the system was built to be hardware agnostic, giving it the flexibility to enhance any existing robot infrastructure depending on the needs of the investigator.

Due to the collective desire from centers from all over the world to modernize and enhance biomechanical research, simVITRO’s capabilities were first offered outside of Cleveland Clinic in 2014. The following year, we launched a partnership with Simulation Solutions, to distribute and integrate simVITRO to European institutions. These efforts and demonstrated success of simVITRO continues to attract new customers from all over the world.

Contact us today to discuss your research and schedule a simVITRO demonstration.

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simVITRO Team

Robb Colbrunn
Robb received a B.S.M.E. in 1996 from Grove City College, a M.S.M.E. in 2000 from Case Western Reserve University, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 2013 from Cleveland State University. Along the way he worked in both academia and industry developing test systems for the automotive industry, creating control systems for unique robotic actuators, performing system integration of International Space Station experiments for NASA, and designing & manufacturing novel medical devices. He was recruited by the Cleveland Clinic in 2005 to launch the BioRobotics Core. His area of research interest lies where medicine and robotics intersect; both currently and in the future. Much of the research he has done is in the realm of orthopaedic biomechanics using robotic testing methodologies, but is not limited to a single joint or anatomical region. This broad perspective has given him a unique view and cross-disciplinary knowledge in the field. Robotics are becoming more and more common in today’s world and the potential applications are limitless. He is motivated by having the ability to harness those technologies and apply them in ways to ultimately help patients.

Tara Nagle
Tara received a B.S.M.E. in 2008 from The Ohio State University and a M.S. in 2010 in Robotics from Università degli studi di Genova (Italy) and Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France). She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Cleveland State University. Tara has focused on Biomechanics from the beginning. She engaged in undergraduate research regarding injury biomechanics in vehicular accidents and worked as a Co-op at a forensic engineering company, investigating the causation of injuries based on collected evidence. Tara knew she wanted to work at the BioRobotics Core in 2009 when she shadowed Robb for a couple weeks during the summer. The exciting research she witnessed compelled her to reach out to the lab as she was finishing her Masters degree. Tara joined the BioRobotics Core in 2010 and she immediately began software development and experimental testing. Tara enjoys working with customers to solve problems and values the collaboration between physicians, engineers, academic researchers and the medical device industry. She has learned that this combination of expertise is essential in solving the toughest medical problems.

Callan Gillespie
Callan received a B.S in Engineering Science and Mechanics in 2013 and a M.S. in Engineering Mechanics in 2014 from Virginia Tech. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from Cleveland State University. In college he specialized in biomechanics and worked in a laboratory doing experimental mechanics. Callan joined the BioRobotics Core at the beginning of 2015 because he was impressed by the exciting research and technical mastery he saw while interviewing at the Cleveland Clinic. He has enjoyed the multidisciplinary field of BioRobotics, where he frequently gets to work with physicians, engineers, scientists, technicians, machinists, and programmers. Similar to all members of the simVITRO team, he wears a lot of hats, and on a given day can switch between software development, hardware design, experimentation, and customer support. Callan is excited by the potential of simVITRO, both to improve patient care and to contribute to fields outside of biomechanics. He looks forward to continuing to work as part of the simVITRO team developing new features in order to answer compelling research questions.

Jeremy Loss
Jeremy received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2017 from the University of Notre Dame and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2019 from Cleveland State University. Jeremy has always been fascinated with biomechanics and completed his graduate work in a hand and wrist research lab at the Cleveland Clinic. He was familiar with the BioRobotics Core during his time as a graduate researcher and jumped at the opportunity to join the BioRobotics team as a research engineer in 2020. Jeremy was drawn to the BioRobotics Core by the breadth of biomechanical research projects conducted and the emphasis placed on integrating robotics with current research practices to develop deeper understanding of biomechanical phenomena. Jeremy is excited to collaborate with a wide range of medical and research professionals to tackle difficult biomedical questions and improve clinical knowledge, especially in the field of spine biomechanics. He hopes he can use his engineering expertise to contribute towards the development of biomechanical research while continuing to learn about the field of biorobotics. He looks forward to working with the simVITRO team and strengthening the fields of robotics and biomechanical research.

Elizabeth Pace
Elizabeth received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2020 from Villanova University. She has always had an interest in the engineering side of medicine and healthcare. After graduating and serving in AmeriCorps, she worked in industry. She has experience in single-use medical device manufacturing, accelerated aging and testing of medical devices, and quality systems of aerospace component manufacturing. She joined the BioRobotics Core in 2023. What drew Elizabeth to this job was the opportunity to use her engineering knowledge to help doctors research physiological problems that people face.

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Designed with flexibility and customization in mind, simVITRO® can be configured to provide unique solutions to your challenges. Our team’s extensive experience allows us to provide turn-key solutions based on our systems engineering approach. Learn More…