Home / People / Faculty / Subburaj Karupppasamy

Subburaj Karupppasamy

Assistant Professor

Website: http://med.sutd.edu.sg/
Telephone: +65 6499 4897
Research Areas:
Bio-Medical Engineering,Design Science,Mechanical Engineering,Rapid Prototyping,Medical Imaging,Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)

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 (FEA / ML / AI) for diagnosing, monitoring, treating, and potentially preventing musculoskeletal disorders and disabilities (Osteoarthritis/ Osteoporosis / Scoliosis) by understanding bio-mechanical implications of these diseases and disabilities.

His research interest is on design innovation in medical devices, technologies, and methods for successful and active aging. More specifically on (1) biomechanical understanding of aging and its impact on the prevention, progression, and prognosis of illnesses, injuries, and associated disabilities; (2) developing effective early assessment and continuous monitoring systems, methods, devices, and tools to maintain health, well-being, and function and reduce the burden of age-related musculoskeletal fragility.

He collaborates 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.


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

Research & Teaching Interests

  • Education  : Design-based Learning, Design Education, Experiential learning
  • Product       : Assistive Devices, Prosthetics, Surgical Tools, Health Monitoring
  • Tools             : Medical Imaging and Analysis, Computational Modelling and Simulation, Applied ML/AI tools
  • Scienc          : Design for Health, Quantitative Biomechanics, Bone and Joint Health
  • Diseases      : Age-related Fragility, Musculoskeletal Disabilities, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis

Selected Research Publications

  1. T. Binedell T, K. Subburaj*, Y. Wong, LT Blessing, “Leveraging Digital Technology to overcome barriers in the Prosthetic and Orthotic Industry: an evaluation of its applicability and use during the COVID-19 pandemic,JMIR Rehabil Assist Technol. (2020), 7 (2), e23827.
  2. T. Binedell, E. Meng, K. Subburaj*, “Design and Development of a Novel 3D-printed Non-Metallic Self-Locking Prosthetic Arm for a Forequarter Amputation,” Prosthet. Orthot. International, (2020), in press. PMID: 32842869
  3. N.M. Rayudu, K. Subburaj*, K. Mei, M. Dieckmeyer, J.S. Kirschke, P.B. Noel, T. Baum, “MDCT-based Vertebral Bone Strength Prediction using FEA: how low can we go?”, Frontiers in Endocrinology, (2020), 11: 442.
  4. N.M. Rayudu, D.P. Anitha, K. Mei, F. Zoffl, F.K. Kopp, N. Sollmann, M.T. Löffler, J.S. Kirschke, P.B. Noel, K. Subburaj*, T. Baum, “Low-Dose and Sparse Sampling MDCT-based Femoral Bone Strength Prediction using Finite Element Analysis,” Archives of Osteoporosis, (2020), 15(1): 17.
  5. D. Anitha, T. Baum, J.S. Kirschke, K. Subburaj*, Effect of the intervertebral disc on vertebral bone strength prediction: a Finite-Element Study,” The Spine Journal, (2020), 20(4): 665-671.
  6. S Ćuković, W Taylor, V Luković, I Ghionea, K Baizid, J Iqbal, K. Subburaj, “Rigid 3D Registration Algorithm for Localization of the Vertebral Centroids in 3D Deformity Models of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis,” Computer-Aided Design & Applications, (2020), 17 (6), 1313-1325
  7. D. Shriram, G. Yamako, E. Chosa, K. Subburaj*, Biomechanical Evaluation of Isotropic and Shell-Core Composite Meniscal Implants for Total Meniscus Replacement: A Nonlinear Finite Element Study,” IEEE Access,, (2019), 7: 140084 – 140101.
  8. E. Burian, K. Subburaj, M. R. K. Mookiah, A. Rohrmeier, D. M. Hedderich, M. Dieckmeyer, M. N. Diefenbach, S. Ruschke, E. J. Rummeny, C. Zimmer, J. S. Kirschke, D. C. Karampinos, T. Baum, “Texture analysis of vertebral bone marrow using chemical shift encoding–based water-fat MRI: a feasibility study,” Osteoporosis International,, (2019), 30(6):1265-1274.
  9. D. Shriram, G. Yamako, E. Chosa, YHD Lee K. Subburaj*, “Effects of a valgus unloader brace in the medial meniscectomized knee joint: a biomechanical study,” Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research,, (2019), 14: 44.
  10. 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, (2019), 43(1):61-65.
  11. 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, (2019), 29(4):645-651.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 .
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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. 
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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

  • Medical Devices Design
  • Rehabilitation / Assistive Devices
  • Orthopedic Biomechanics
  • Medical Imaging (MR / CT)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Osteoarthritis / Cartilage Tissue Damage
  • Osteoporosis / Bone Fracture
  • Scoliosis / Analysis / Implants

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 / Modeling and Simulation
  • Medical Imaging (MRI / CT)
  • Machine Learning / AI Tools

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

Please visit  http://med.sutd.edu.sg