Blog » Archives » October 2011

Innovations with Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is generating buzz within the ESTEEM program. Both current students and alumni have embraced thesis projects that use predictive algorithms to create novel innovations.

Alumni Spotlight: Saint Mary's College and 2011 ESTEEM Graduate Michelle Kappes

Surgical intervention is often necessary for people suffering from severe back pain. Interbody spinal fusion is a common practice used to alleviate pain caused when a bulging or herniated disc impinges on the spinal cord or nerve root. Polyetherertherketone (PEEK) cages are commonly used in such instances, because they contain similar weight-bearing properties to bone and are sufficiently transparent to X-ray to allow radiographic assessment of the bony fusion desired within a cavity in the cage. However, PEEK fusion cages are dense and bioinert, which prevents the cage from fusing and fully integrating with the spine without the addition of additional bone-inducing agents. Michelle Kappes (far right in photo below), a Saint Mary’s College