Home / People / Faculty / Subburaj Karupppasamy

Subburaj Karupppasamy

Assistant Professor

Website: http://med.sutd.edu.sg/
Telephone: +65 6499 4897
Research Areas:
Bio-Medical Engineering,Rapid Prototyping,Medical Imaging

Pillar / Cluster: Engineering Product Development


Subburaj (Subbu) is an Assistant Professor in the Pillar of Engineering Product Development (EPD) at SUTD, where he leads Healthcare Engineering and Design Track and the Medical Engineering and Design Lab. He leads an inter-disciplinary research team with the goal of designing and developing medical devices, assistive technologies, image-based quantitative biomarkers, and computing tools (Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence) for diagnosing, monitoring, treating, and potentially preventing musculoskeletal disorders (Knee Osteoarthritis/ Osteoporosis / Bone Fracture ) and disabilities by understanding bio-mechanical implications of those diseases and disabilities.. He collaborated with physicians and clinical researchers from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), Technical University of Munich (TUM), Singapore General Hospital (SGH), and Changi General Hospital (CGH) to combine research and technical expertise to address real-life clinical problems affecting Asia-Pacific and the World.

Before joning SUTD, he did his postdoctoral work in Musculoskeletal Quantitative Imaging Research (MQIR) laboratory at University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  At UCSF, he worked with a spectrum of clinicians (from radiology, orthopaedic surgeons, sports medicine, and physiotherapy/rehabilitation science) on characterizing magnetic resonance image (MRI) based bio-markers to understand the physiological and biochemical response of knee joint cartilage to physical exercise and acute loading. He has also developed and validated 3D modelling and quantification methods to study joint (hip/knee) loading pattern and contact kinematics in young healthy adults and patients with osteoarthritis.

Subbu received his PhD from the Indian Institute Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), India in 2009.  During his PhD, he collaborated with Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai  on developing a Surgery Planning System for Tumour Knee Reoconstruction. He developed automated geometric reasoning algorithms to (i) extract morphometric characteristics of bones (femur/tibia/pelvis) using 3D reconstructed models from CT images, (ii) automate pre-operative planning and guidance tasks of limb salvage surgery, and (iii) extract patient-specific anatomical parameters for designing implants for joint replacements (knee/hip). He also worked with Orthodontists from local hospitals in Mumbai, India on designing and developing prostheses and surgical instruments/guides for reconstructing maxillofaical defects. After his PhD, he worked as a Research Specialist (surgery planning) in the Biomedical Engineering Technology incubation Centre (BETiC) at IIT Bombay, before moving to UCSF for his postdoctoral studies.


  • Postdoc (’10-’14), University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
  • PhD (’05-’09), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay)

Research Interests and Applications

  • Medical Imaging and Image processing / Analysis (Tissue: Bone/cartilage;  Disease: Osteoarthritis / Osteoporosis)
  • Medical Devices (low-cost assistive devices, surgical guides, and design/manufacturing considerations in developing nations)
  • Application of Finite Element Method in Biomedical Engineering
  • Musculoskeletal biomechanics (quantitative assessment of rehabilitation after injury)
  • Understanding long-term effects of physical activity / treatments in adolescents

Selected Research Publications

  1. D. Anitha, K. Mei, M. Dieckmeyer, F.K. Kopp, N. Sollmann, C. Zimmer, J.S. Kirschke, P.B. Noel, T. Baum, K. Subburaj*, “MDCT-based finite element analysis of vertebral fracture risk: how much dose is needed?,” Clinical Neuroradiology, (2018), Accepted.
  2. D. Anitha, K. Subburaj*, F.K. Kopp, K. Mei, P. Foehr, R. Burgkart, N. Sollmann, C. Maegerlein, J.S. Kirschke, P.B. Noel, T. Baum, “Effect of Statistical Iterative Reconstruction on Vertebral Bone Strength Prediction using BMD and FEM – A preliminary study,” Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography, (2018), Accepted.
  3. M.R.K. Mookiah, A. Rohrmeier, M. Dieckmeyer, K. Mei, F.K. Kopp, P.B. Noel, J.S. Kirschke, T. Baum, K. Subburaj, “Feasibility of opportunistic osteoporosis screening in routine contrast-enhanced Multi-Detector Computed Tomography (MDCT) using texture analysis,” Osteoporosis International, 29 (4) (2018), 825-835.
  4. V. Srinivasan, B. Song, J. Luo, K. Subburaj, R.E. Mohan, L. Blessing, K.L. Wood, “Does Analogical Distance Affect Performance of Ideation?,” ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 140(7), (2018), 071101.
  5. M.R.K. Mookiah, K. Subburaj, K. Mei, F.K. Kopp, J. Kaesmacher, P.M. Jungmann, P. Foehr, P.B. Noel, J.S. Kirschke, T. Baum, “MDCT Imaging: Effect of Sparse Sampling and Iterative Reconstruction on Trabecular Bone Microstructure,” Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography, 42(3) (2018), 441-447 .
  6. M.R.K. Mookiah, T. Baum, K. Mei, F. Kopp, G. Kaissis, P. Foehr, P.B. Noel, J.S. Kirschke, K. Subburaj, “Effect of radiation dose reduction on texture measures of trabecular bone microstructure – an in-vitro study,” Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism, 36 (3) (2018), 323-335
  7. D. Shriram, G.P. Kumar, F. Cui, Y.H.D. Lee, K. Subburaj, “Evaluating the effects of material properties of artificial meniscal implant in the human knee joint using Finite Element Analysis, Scientific Reports, 7, (2017), 6011
  8. D. Anitha, T. Baum, J.S. Kirschke, K. Subburaj “Risk of Vertebral Compression Fractures in Multiple Myeloma patients: A finite-element study,” Medicine, 96(2), (2017), e5825.
  9. D Anitha, K. Subburaj, K. Mei, F.K. Kopp, P. Foehr, P.B. Noel, J.S. Kirschke, T. Baum, “Effects of dose reduction on bone strength prediction using finite element analysis,” Scientific Reports, 6, (2016), 38441.
  10. G. Mohan, S. Magnitsky, G. Melkus, K. Subburaj, G. Kazakia, A.J. Burghardt, A. Dang, N.E. Lane, S. Majumdar, “Kartogenin treatment prevented joint degeneration in a rodent model of osteoarthritis: a pilot study,” Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 34 (10), (2016), 1780-1789.
  11. D. Lansdown, M. Zaid, V. Pedoia, K. Subburaj, C.B. Ma, R.B. Souza, X. Li, “Reproducibility measurements of three methods for calculating in vivo MRI-based knee kinematics,” Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 42(2), (2015), 533-538.
  12. C.R. Wyatt, D. Kumar, K. Subburaj, S. Lee, L. Nardo, D. Narayanan, D. Lansdown, T. Vail, T.M. Link, R.B. Souza, S. Majumdar, “Cartilage T1ρ and T2 Relaxation Times in Patients With Mild‐to‐Moderate Radiographic Hip Osteoarthritis, Arthritis & Rheumatology, 67(6), (2015), 1548 – 1556.
  13. D. Kumar, R.B. Souza, K. Subburaj, T.D. Macleod, J. Singh, N.E. Calixto, L. Nardo, T.M. Link, X. Li, N.E. Lane, S. Majumdar, “Are There Sex Differences in Knee Cartilage Composition and Walking Mechanics in Healthy and Osteoarthritis Populations?,” Clinical Orthopedic Related Research, 473 (8), (2015), 2548-2558.
  14. K. Subburaj, R.B. Souza, B.T. Wyman, M.-P. Hellio Le Graverand, T.M. Link, X. Li, S. Majumdar, “Changes in MR relaxation times of the meniscus with acute loading: an in vivo pilot study in knee osteoarthritis,” Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 41(2),(2015), 536-543.
  15. T.D. MacLeod, K. Subburaj, S.J. Wu, D. Kumar, C.R. Wyatt, R.B. Souza, “Magnetic resonance analysis of loaded meniscus kinematics: a novel technique comparing persons with and without radiographic knee osteoarthritis,” Skeletal Radiology, 44(1), (2015), 125-35.
  16. K. Subburaj, A. Valentinitsch, A.B. Dillon, G.B. Joseph, X. Li, T.M. Link, T.P. Vail, S. Majumdar, “Regional variations in MR relaxation of hip joint cartilage in subjects with and without femoralacetabular impingement,” Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 31(7), (2013), 1129–1136.
  17. D. Kumar, K. Subburaj, W. Lin, D.C. Karampinos, X. Li, R.B. Souza, T.M. Link, S. Majumdar, “Quadriceps and hamstrings morphology is related to walking mechanics and knee cartilage MR relaxation times in young adults,” Journal of Orthopaedic and Physical Therapy, 43(2), (2013) 881-890. 
  18. K. Subburaj, D. Kumar, R.B Souza, H. Alizai, X. Li, T.M. Link, S. Majumdar, “The Acute effect of running on knee articular cartilage and meniscus magnetic resonance relaxation times in young healthy adults,” American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(9), (2012), 2134–2141.
  19. A. Kothari, B. Haughom, K. Subburaj, B. Feeley, X. Li, C.B. Ma, “Evaluating rotational kinematics of the knee in ACL reconstructed patients using MRI,” The Knee, 19(5) (2012), 648–651.
  20. K. Subburaj, R.B. Souza, C. Stehling, B.T. Wyman, M.-P. Hellio Le Graverand, T.M. Link, X. Li, S. Majumdar, “Association of MR relaxation and cartilage deformation in knee osteoarthritis,” Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 30(6) (2012), 919–926.
  21. K. Subburaj, B. Ravi, M.G. Agarwal, “Computer-aided methods for assessing lower limb deformities in orthopaedic surgery planning,” Computerized Medical Imaging Graphics, 34(4) (2010) 277–288.
  22. K. Subburaj, B. Ravi, M.G. Agarwal, “Automated identification of anatomical landmarks on 3D bone models reconstructed from CT data,” Comput. Medical Imaging Graphics, 33(5) (2009), 359–368.
  23. K. Subburaj, C. Nair, S. Rajesh, S.M. Meshram, B. Ravi, “Rapid development of auricular prosthesis using CAD and Rapid Prototyping (RP) technologies,” International J. Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, 36(10) (2007), 938–943.
Clinical Applications

  • Bone & Cartilage
  • Medical Devices Design
  • Rehabilitation / Assistive Devices
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Medical Imaging (MR / CT)
  • Clinical Translational Research
  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics
  • Finite Element Method

SUTD Presidential PhD Scholarship

I am admitting PhD students in following areas:

  • Medical Image Analysis / Image Processing
  • Computational Geometry / Geometric Reasoning
  • Medical device Design /  Biomechanics.
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Medical Imaging (MRI / CT)

please contact (subburaj@sutd.edu.sg) with your CV and short statement on your research experience .

Please visit  http://people.sutd.edu.sg/~subburaj/