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Carlo Frigo


Carlo Frigo has been working in the area of movement analysis and motor control since 1976, when he has graduated at Politecnico di Milano. His background is biomechanical engineering, although the group in which he has been involved is a multidisciplinary group, which includes electronics, informatics, automatics. His academic position is Associate Professor at the Faculty of System’s Engineering, and he belongs to the Department of Bioengineering of Politecnico di Milano. He has been working for 25 years in the Bioengineering Centre of Milan, that was an institutional cooperation between Politecnico di Milano and Fondazione Don Gnocchi, one of the major rehabilitation and research institutes in Italy. In this frame he has been active part in the development of one of the renowned systems for movement analysis, the ELITE System. He has also contributed to realize one of the first clinically oriented Gait Analysis laboratories: the SAFLo (Servizio di Analisi della Funzionalità Locomotoria). SAFLo is also the acronym of a gait analysis protocol that he has developed and that is now implemented in several gait analysis systems. Carlo Frigo has contributed to the constitution of the Italian Society for Clinical Movement Analysis (SIAMOC) of which he has been the first Secretary (years 1999-2003) and then President from 2007 to 2009. He has been active member of ESMAC, organizer of the 10th ESMAC congress in Rome, 2001, held jointly with SIAMOC, and has been part of the ESMAC Committee. His present interests, beside clinical movement analysis and movement biomechanics, are musculoskeletal modeling, computer simulation, and all related applications in the field of orthotics and prosthetics, functional surgery, motor control and recovery of motion.

Abstract of this year's Bauman lecture:

Analysis of human movement has evolved from early applications of technology, that were pioneered in the seventies/eighties of the last century, to current applications in which movement analysis is performed routinely in many clinical laboratories. Biomechanical variables and neuromotor control have been investigated deeply since then, and useful information from the clinical point of view can now be obtained in individual subjects, and allow planning interventions and check the functional status of a patient. More recently the possibility to model the musculoskeletal system  and simulate human movement has opened new perspectives to understanding the motor behavior. Synthesis is the process of building a product by adding its constitutive components. Movement can be synthesized by properly combining input variables that control the degrees of freedom of a model. These variables can be joint angles and space coordinates, but also joint moments, muscle forces, environmental conditions. Integration of the two processes of analysis and synthesis can  improve our capability to investigate complex mechanisms. A typical  problem we can face in this way is the ‘what if’ problem. The effects of changing muscle length and insertion points, changing the properties of muscle contraction, or patterns of muscle recruitment, for example, can all be investigated by this approach. In addition the function of muscles, in particular the double-joint ones, and the synergistic control of agonists and antagonists can be investigated in some specific conditions and better understood. It is foreseen that several aspects related to treatment of neuromotor disorders will be dramatically enhanced when models for simulating complex dynamic phenomena will be available with sufficient accuracy and ability to adapt to single individuals.