Mark Driscoll

Associate Professor
Academic title(s): 

NSERC Chair in Design Engineering for Interdisciplinary Innovation of Medical Technologies

Chwang-Seto Faculty Scholar

Mark Driscoll
Contact Information

Macdonald Engineering Building, Room 153

Email address: 
mark.driscoll [at]

Expert in Spine Biomechanics and professional engineer with in-depth experience in the implementation of new product ideas from concept phase to commercially viable completion. A proven research and development record respectfully acknowledged in peer-reviewed scientific publications and adjudged presentations in the field of musculoskeletal biomechanics with focus on the spine.


Industrial Post-Doctoral

Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, École Polytechnique of Montreal

B. Eng. Mechanical Engineering, McGill University


MECH 463 - Final Year Capstone Design Project 

MECH393 - Machine Element Design

MECH 561 - Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal Systems

MECH 290 - Graphic Design

MECH 292 - Conceptual Design



Research areas: 
Selected publications: 
  1. Driscoll, M., Aubin, C-E., Moreau, A. and Parent, S., (2008) Stress shielding within the scoliotic spine: a progressive risk factor? Stud Health Technol Inform. 157: 356.
  2. Driscoll, M., Aubin, C-E., Parent, S., Moreau, A. and Villemure, I., (2009) The role of concave-convex biases in the progression of idiopathic scoliosis. Eur Spine J, 18: p. 180-187.
  3. Beaudette, K., Boudoux, C., Driscoll, M., Strupler, M., Maciejko, R. and Aubin, C-E., (2010) Towards a Handheld Probe based on Coherence Tomography for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeries. Stud Health Technol Inform, 158: 49-54.
  4. Driscoll, M., Aubin, C-E., Parent, S. and Moreau, A., (2010) Finite Element Comparison of Different Growth Sparring Instrumentation Systems for the Early Treatment of Idiopathic Scoliosis. Stud Health Technol Inform, 158: 89-94.
  5. Shi, L., Wang, D., Driscoll, M., Chu, W., Cheng, JCY., Villemure, I. and Aubin, C-E., (2010) Scoliotic vs. Normal Vertebral Growth Profiles on the Progression of Idiopathic Scoliosis: a Biomechanical Study. Stud Health Technol Inform, 158: 284.
  6. Driscoll, M. and Blyum, L., (2010) The presence of physiological stress shielding in the degenerative cycle of musculoskeletal disorders. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 15(3): 335-342.
  7. Blyum, L., and Driscoll, M. (2011) Mechanical Stress transfer – the fundamental physical basis of all manual therapy techniques. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 16(4): 520.
  8. Driscoll, M., Aubin, C-E., Moreau, A. and Parent, S., (2011) Biomechanical comparison of fusionless growth modulation corrective techniques in pediatric scoliosis. Med Bio Eng Comp, 49(12): 1437-1445.
  9. Shi, L., Wang, D., Driscoll, M., Chu, W., Cheng, JCY., Villemure, I. and Aubin, C-E., (2011) Biomechanical analysis and modeling of different vertebral growth patterns in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and healthy subjects. Scoliosis Journal, 6(11)
  10. Driscoll, M., Aubin, C-E., Moreau, A., Wakula Y., Sawark, J., and Parent, S., (2012) Spinal growth modulation using a novel intravertebral epiphyseal device in an immature porcine model. European Spine Journal, 21(1): 138-144.
  11. Hachem, B., Aubin, CE., Driscoll, M., and Parent, S., (2012) Porcine spine finite element model as an alternative tool for the validation of a novel fusionless device. Stud Health Technol Inform (176) 459.
  12. Driscoll, M., Mac-Thiong, J-M., Labelle, H., Slivka, M., Stad, S., and Parent, S. (2013) Biomechanical assessment of reduction forces measured during scoliotic instrumentation using two different screw designs. Spine Deformity Journal, 1: 94-101.
  13. Driscoll, M., Mac-Thiong, J-M., Labelle, and Parent, S. (2013) Development of a detailed volumetric finite element model of the spine to simulate surgical correction of spinal deformities. Biomed Research International, Article, p6
  14. Driscoll, M., Fortier-Tougas, C., Labelle, H., Parent, S., and Mac-Thiong, JM., (2014) Evaluation of an apparatus to be combined with a smartphone for the early detection of spinal deformities, Scoliosis, 9:10. (doi:10.1186/1748-7161-9-10)
  15. Driscoll, M., and Blyum, L., (2014) Results of a 3-year prospective cohort study investigating the influence of home-based therapy on patients with cerebral palsy in GMFCS levels IV and V, Dev Med Child Nerol: 56 (s5), p67
  16. Driscoll, M., Mac-Thiong, JM., Labelle, H., Stad, S., Serhan, H., and Parent, S., (2015) Biomechanical comparison of two different pedicle screw systems during the surgical correction of adult spinal deformities, Spine Deformity Journal, 3(2): 114-121.
  17. Drewes, E., Driscoll, M., Blyum, L., and Vincents, D., (2016) The effects of a home-based connective tissue targeting therapy on hip development in children with cerebral palsy: 6 case report, Explore Journal; (4) 268-276.
  18. Driscoll, M., Aubin, C-E., Moreau, A., Wakula Y., Amini, S., and Parent, S., (2016) Novel hemi-staple for the fusionless correction of pediatric scoliosis: influence on intervertebral discs and growth plates in a porcine model. Clin Spine Surg; (9) 457-464.
  19. Driscoll, M. (2018) Fascia- The Unsung Biomechanical Hero of our Musculoskeletal System JBMT, 22(1) 90-91 (Invited Paper)
  20. Fleckenstein, J., Schleip, R., Sachs, C., Driscoll, M., et al. (2018) Fascia Research – where is it going? (Faszienforschung: Quo vadis), Mannuelle Medizin. 56 452-467.
  21. Klinger, W., Driscoll, M., (2018) Revolution in Fascia Research, JBMT, 22;(4), 844 (invited editorial).
  22. AvilaGonzalez, A., Wearing, S., Driscoll, M., Schleip, R., and Klinger, W. (2018) Frontiers in Fascia Research, JBMT, (22):4, 873-880.
  23. Driscoll, M., (2019) Faszien, die unbesungenen Helden der Wirbelsaulen-Biomechanik, Journal of Morbus Bechterew, (156); 7 (translated editorial)
  24. Driscoll, M. (2019) The impact of the finite element method on medical device design, Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering (JMBE), 39(2) 171-172 (Invited Paper)
  25. Clin, J.*, Le Naveaux, F., Driscoll, M., et al. (2019) Biomechanical Comparison of the Load-Sharing Capacity of High and Low Implant Density Constructs with 3 Types of Pedicle Screws for the Instrumentation of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, Spine Deformity Journal, 7(1): 2-10
  26. Driscoll, M., Blyum, L., (2019) Investigation of the influence of a home-based therapy on the intra-abdominal pressure and spinal stability of cerebral palsy patients, Clinical Biomechanics, 69: 164-167.
  27. Brahmi, B.,* Driscoll, M., et al. (2020) Adaptive high order sliding mode control based on quasi-time delay estimation for uncertain robot manipulator. Journal of Control Theory and Technology, (18);279-292
  28. El-Monajjed, K*., Driscoll, M., (2020) A Finite Element Analysis of the Intra-Abdominal Pressure and Paraspinal Muscle Compartment Pressure Interaction through the Thoracolumbar Fascia, Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 23(10), 585-596
  29. Brahmi, B*., Driscoll, M., El Bojairami, I.,* et al. (2020) Novel Adaptive Impedance Control for Exoskeleton Robot for Rehabilitation Using a Nonlinear Time-Delay Disturbances Observer, ISA Transaction, 108: 381-392
  30. El-Monajjed, K*., Driscoll, M., (2020)Analysis of Surgical Forces Required to Gain Access using a Probe for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery via Cadaveric-based Experiments towards use in Training Simulators” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 68(1): 330-339
  31. Jacobson, N.,* Driscoll, M. (2020) “Design synthesis and preliminary evaluation of a novel tool to non-invasively characterize pressurized, physiological vessels”, ASME Journal of Medical Devices, 15(2): 1-8
  32. Brahmi, B.,* El-Monajjed, K.,* and Driscoll, M. (2020) Novel Adaptive Backstepping Control of Uncertain Electrically Driven Haptic Robot For Surgical Training Systems, International Journal of Control, 1-24
  33. El-Bojairami, B.,* El-Monajjed, K.,* Driscoll, M., (2020) Development and Validation of a novel Finite Element Human Spine Model for accurate Biomechanical Simulations, Scientific Reports, Nature 10 (1), 1-15.
  34. Brahmi B.,* El Bojairami, I.,* Driscoll, M., Saad, M., Zemmam, S.,* Laraki, L.,* (2020) "Enhancement of Sliding Mode Control Performance For Perturbed and Unperturbed Nonlinear System: Theory and Experimentation on Rehabilitation Robot" Journal of Electrical Engineering & Technology, 16(1): 599-616
  35. Newell, E.,* Driscoll, M., (2021) The examination of stress shielding in a finite element lumbar spine inclusive of the thoracolumbar fascia, Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, 59(7-8): 1621-1628
  36. Newell, E.,* Driscoll, M., (2021) Investigation of physiological stress shielding within the lumbar spinal tissue as a contributor to unilateral low back pain: a finite element study. Computers in Biology and Medicine, Epud doi: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2021.104351
  37. El-Bojairami, I*., Driscoll, M., (2021) Coordination between Trunk Muscles, Thoracolumbar Fascia, and Intra-abdominal Pressure towards Static Spine Stability, Spine, 1;47(9): E423-E431, doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004223.
  38. Patel, S*., Alkadri, S*., Driscoll, M., (2021) Development and Validation of a Mixed Reality Configuration of a Simulator for a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Using the Workspace of a Haptic Device and Simulator Users, Biomed Research International, vol 2021, 12p: 2435126, doi: 10.1155/2021/2435126
  39. El-Bojairami, I*., Driscoll, M., (2022) Correlating Skeletal Muscle Output Force and Intramuscular Pressure via a 3-Dimensional Finite Element Muscle Model, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 44(4): 041006 doi: 10.1115/1.4052885.
  40. Cotter, T.,* Mongrain, R., Driscoll, M. (2022) Design Synthesis of a Robotic Uniaxial Torque Device for Orthopedic Haptic Simulation, Journal of Medical Device 16(3): 031008,
  41. El-Monajjed, K.,* Driscoll, M., (2022) Haptic integration and validation of data- driven forces required to gain access using a probe for minimally invasive spine surgery via cadaveric-based experiments towards use in surgical simulators, Journal of Computational Science, 60:
  42. El-Bojairami, I*., Hamedzadeh, A.,* Driscoll, M., (2022) Feasibility of extracting tissue material properties via cohesive elements: a finite element approach to probe insertion procedures in non-invasive spine surgeries, Journal of Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing MBEC, 59(10): 2051-2061
  43. El-Monajjed, K.,* Driscoll, M., (2021) Investigation of Reaction Forves in the Thoracolumbar Fascia during Different Activities: A Mechanistic Numerical Study. Life, 11(8) 779: 1-9 (featured on cover page)
  44. Alkadri, S.,* Ledwos, N.,* Mirchi, N.,* Reich, A.,* Yilmaz, R.,* Driscoll, M., Del Maestro, R., (2021) Utilizing a Multilayer Perceptron Artificial Neural Network to Assess a Virtual Reality Surgical Procedure, Computers in Biology and Medicine,
  45. El Bojairami, I.,* Driscoll, M., (2022) Formulation and exploration of novel, intramuscular pressure based, muscle activation strategies in a spine model, Computers in Biology and Medicine, 146: (10.1016/j.compbiomed.2022.105646)
  46. Jacobson, N.,* Driscoll, M., (2022) Validity and reliability of a novel, non-invasive tool and method to measure intra-abdominal pressure 𝑖𝑛 𝑣𝑖𝑣𝑜, Journal of Biomechanics, 137: (10.1016/j.jbiomech.2022.111096)
  47. Stott, B.,* Driscoll, M., (2022) Face and content validity of analog surgical instruments on a novel physics driven minimally invasive spinal fusion surgical simulator, Journal of Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing MBEC, p 1-8, (10.1007/s11517-022-02635-8)
  48. Brahmi, B.,* Bojairami I*, Gholam J, Rahman H, Kovecses, J., Driscoll, M., (2022) Skill learning approach based on impedance control for spine surgical training simulators with haptic playback. Journal of Systems and Control Engineering, p 1-5 (10.1177/09596518221133425)
  49. El-Bojairami, I.,* Jacobson, N.,* Driscoll, M., (2022) Development and evaluation of a numerical spine model comprising intra-abdominal pressure for use in assessing physiological changes on abdominal compliance, Clinical Biomechanics, 97: (10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2022.105689)
  50. Cotter, T.,* Mongrain. R., Driscoll, M., (2022) Vacuum Curette Lumbar Discectomy Mechanics for Use in Spine Surgical Training Simulators, Nature Scientific Reports, 12(1): 1-10
  51. Zhang, D.,* Aoude, A., Driscoll, M., (2022) Development and Model Form Assessment of an Automatic Subject-specific Vertebra Reconstruction Method, Computers in Biology and Medicine, 150, 106158 (10.1016/j.compbiomed.2022.106158)
  52. Stott, B.,* Afshari, P., Bischoff, J, Clin, J., Francois-Saint-Cyr, A., Goodin, M., Herrmann, S., Liu, X., Driscoll, M., (2022) A critical comparison of comparators used to demonstrate credibility of physics-based numerical spine models, Annals in Biomedical Engineering, 51: p 150-162 (10.1007/s10439-022-03069-x)
  53. Dukkipati, S.,* Driscoll, M., (2023) Development and biomechanical evaluation of a 3D printed analogue lumbar spine motion segment, European Spine Journal (under review)
  54. Larivière, C., Preuss R., Gagnon, D.H., Mecheri, H., Driscoll, M., Henry, SM. (2023) The relationship between clinical examination measures and ultrasound measures of fascia thickness surrounding trunk muscles or lumbar multifidus fatty infiltrations: An exploratory study. Journal of Anatomy, (10.1111/joa.13807)
  55. Patel, S.,* Ouellet, J., Driscoll, M. (2023) Examining Impact Forces during posterior spinal fusion to implement in a novel physics driven virtual reality surgical simulator, Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, 10.1007/s11517-023-02819-w
  56. Sottt, B.,* Driscoll, M., (2023) Biomechanical evaluation of the thoracolumbar spine comparing healthy and irregular thoracic and lumbar curvatures, Computers in Biology and Medicine, 0.1016/j.compbiomed.2023.106982
  57. Cotter, T.,* Driscoll, M., (2023) Comparing Controlled and Freehand Test Techniques of Lumbar Discectomy Force Measurement for Spinal Surgery Simulation, Spine (under review)
  58. Patel, S.,*, Ouellet, J., Driscoll, M. (2023) Comparison of Analog and Surgical Impact Tools for Graft and Cage Insertion in a Novel Physics Based Surgical Simulator for Spinal Fusion, Computers in Biology and Medicine (under Review after minor revision)
  59. Jacobson, N.,* Schleip, R., Driscoll, M., (2022)Validity and reliability of a non-invasive tool and method to measure soft tissue elasticity in vivo. Scientific Reports, Nature (under review)
  60. Bernier, E.,* Driscoll, M., (2023) Numerical Investigation of Intra-Abdominal Pressure and Spinal Load-Sharing upon the Application of an Abdominal Belt, Journal of Biomechanics (in review)
  61. El Bojairami, I.,* Santaguida, C., Rawahi, S., Aoude, A, Driscoll, M., (2023) A parametric analysis of interbody fusion cages placement: A finite elements approach comparing lumbar lordosis of bullet and steerable banana cages, Medical & biological Engineering & Computing (in review)
  62. Newell, E.,* Driscoll, M., (2023) The in vivo investigation of mechanical property augmentation within the musculoskeletal soft tissues as a potential indicator for the presence of physiological stress shielding within low back pain patients, Computers in Biology and Medicine (in review)
  63. Newell, E.,* Driscoll, M., (2023) Mechanical evaluation of human cadaveric lumbar soft tissues suggests possible physiological stress shielding within musculoskeletal soft tissues by the thoracolumbar fascia, European Spine Journal (in review)
  64. Alkadri, S.,* Wang, T.,* Driscoll, M., (2023) Assessment of the Fidelity of a Mixed Reality Surgical Spine Simulator using direct comparison of Cadaver and Simulator trials, Medical & biological Engineering & Computing (in review)
  65. Torres, A.,* Driscoll, M., (2023) Evaluation of a Non-invasive Device for Measurement of the Elastic Modulus and Pressure of Soft Tissue-Mimicking Phantoms at Various Strain Rates, Medical & biological Engineering & Computing (in review)
Current research: 

1. Exploration of the impact of connective tissue (fascia) towards a better understanding of spine biomechanics

2. The development and validation of a novel augmented reality spine surgical simulator

Areas of interest: 

Primary Research Theme: Design and Manufacturing
Secondary Research Theme: Biomechanics

Global interests reside in improving the biomechanical understanding of mechanisms that govern our musculoskeletal system. The use of complementary research platforms (in vivo, ex vivo, and in silico) foster novel findings towards the understanding of healthy system and the onset and/or pathomechanism of musculoskeletal disorders. Such translational research is interdisciplinary and requires a multifaceted approach to promote the engineering conception and design of new mechanical solutions.

More specifically, the laboratory seeks to better understand the control system governing spinal stability. Of further interest is how this control system responds when mechanical biases are introduced resulting in physiological stress shielding. Additionally, performs research and development of novel physics driven virtual reality surgical simulators for improved surgeon training in orthopeadics.  Moreover, the mechanical performance of current and future medical devices are also studied.

Areas of expertise: 

Spine Biomechanics

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

1. Canada NSERC Chair Design Engineering for Interdisciplinary Innovation of Medical Technologies

2. Featured as one of nine Engineers in Quebec, with distinct performance in the last 20 years between age of 22 and 60 (Order of Engineers 100 year anniversary magazine). Jan. 2020

3. Professor of the Year in Mechanical Engineering at McGill University, voted by the students for 2018-2019

4. Award for recognition for outstanding contribution (35 and under) in 2018 by the Order of Engineers of Quebec (OIQ)

5. ANSYS Hall of Fame winner 2015 for best use of engineering simulation platform

6. Best New Technology for Spine Care in 2014 (Inventor and head engineer)


1. Source: Med e-News

2. Source: PLAN magazine

3.Source: Global News, interview

4. Source: Order of Engineers Quebec

5. Source: City of Montreal

6. Source: Becker Spine Review Magazine

5. Source: Medical Simulation Training

6. Source: Mobile Syrup (online tech magazine)

7. Source: BioWorld MedTech

8. Source: McGill Reporter

9. Source: SALTISE

10.Source: LA PRESSE

11.Source: Business Wire

12.Source: Ansys (world leading simulation platform)

13.Source: RRY Publications, LLC

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