Neuromuscular Control Group

The lower extremity is involved in all movements of daily life and physical activity. We focus on the influence of internal (age, gender, etc.) and external factors like training parameters, orthotic devices or pathology on dynamic movement patterns. The general methodological paradigm combines the pure biomechanical view with a focus on the organization and adaptation of the neuromuscular system.

The group is currently working for example (i.a.) on the acute and long-term influence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury (rupture) on knee stability. Injury to the ACL occurs during physical activity and leads to severe impairment of knee function. Adequate rehabilitation strategies and preventive measures are crucial for optimal treatment. Beside mechanical stability, sound neuromuscular control secures active joint stability and protection. Muscle pre-activation before and reflex activity just shortly after potentially harmful perturbations of knee stability are of upmost importance to achieve optimal knee stability. The evaluation of sensorimotor control in functionally relevant situations may therefore serve as a key element in functional diagnostics. The approach is to evaluate persons with acute ACL injury in daily life activities (e.g. stairway walking). Moreover, neuromuscular control is evaluated during artificially induced tibia perturbation. The analysis of neuromuscular control has the goal to extract neuromuscular characteristics that differentiate healthy cohorts and patients. This leads to a diagnostic tool with validated outcomes, that can be used for further research questions. Objective parameters can help to rate rehabilitation progress or return-to-sport decisions after rehabilitation. Furthermore, we establish the additional analysis of cortical activation patterns and their alteration due to injury in current project setup.




  • Leonore Boesch, PT, MSc
  • Sibylle Achermann, PT, MSc
  • Kathrin Abächerli, PT, MSc
  • Philippe Bähler, BSc Mikrotechnik, cand MSc BME
  • Michaela Born, PT, MSc
  • Anja Brun, PT, MSc
  • Valentin Deiss, PT, MSc
  • Matteao Ferraro, PT, MSc
  • Michaela Hähni, PT, MSc
  • Thomas Heutschi, MSc BME
  • Sebastian Köcker, PT, MSc
  • Pasccal Kolly, BSc Mikrotechnik
  • Daniela Kuchen, PT, MSc
  • Nicole Lutz, PT, MSc
  • Raphael Pfister, MSc
  • Johannes Pohl, PT, MSc, cand PhD
  • Aaron Schmidt, PT, MSc
  • Caroline Schulz, PT, MSc
  • Lia Sutter, PT, MSc
  • Angèle Thijs, PT, MSc


Master's thesis

For current master thesis opportunities, please contact the group head directly (not only ACL-related topics available).

Ongoing collaborations


  • ALTIUS Swiss Sportmed Center Rheinfelden (Prof. Dr. Anja Hirschmüller, MD)
  • Orthopädie Sonnenhof, Kniechirurgie & Sportverletzungen, Bern (PD Dr. Philipp Henle, MD)
  • Rehabilitation Research Laboratory 2rLab, SUPSI, Landquart (Dr. Ron Clijsen, PT, PhD)
  • Spiraldynamik® Holding AG (Dr. Christian Larsen, MD)
  • Zentrum Orthogeriatrie, Inselspital, Universitätsspital, Bern (Prof. Dr. Johannes Bastian, MD)


  • Institut für Sportwissenschaft, Trainingswissenschaft, Universität Rostock (D) (Prof. Dr. Sven Bruhn, PhD)
  • School of Health Sciences, Western Sydney University (AUS) (Prof. Dr. Roy Cheung)
  • Klinik für Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg/Br. (D) (Prof. Dr. Anja Hirschmüller, MD)
  • Hochschulambulanz, Sportmedizin & Sportorthopädie, Universität Potsdam (Prof. Dr. Frank Mayer, MD)
  • Fachbereich Informatik, Therapiewissenschaften, Hochschule Trier (D) (Prof. Dr. Steffen Müller)
  • Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, University of Antwerp (BE) (Prof. Dr. Dirk Vissers, PT, PhD) Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, University of Antwerp (BE) (Prof. Dr. Dirk Vissers, PT, PhD)


  • Test persons wanted for two studies on cruciate ligament rupture

Selected current projects

  • Neuromuscular and cortical activity after rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament – a 1-year follow-up).
    PI: Heiner Baur PhD, Aglaja Busch MSc, cand PhD
    Sponsor: partially: BFH and Stiftung Lindenhof Bern (Grant-no.: 2157PT_G)
  • F.O.O.T-Study: Analysis of the Effects of a Spiraldynamik®-Intervention on the Long-Term Outcome in Hallux Valgus Patients. Cooperation With the Spiraldynamik® Holding AG (Dr. Larsen, MD)
    PI: Heiner Baur PhD
    Sponsor: Dr. Melitta Berkemann-Stiftung, Hamburg (D). – Status: currently postponed

Completed projects

  • Development of valid diagnostics to evaluate sensorimotor competence in patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury
    PI: Heiner Baur, PhD
    Sponsor: SNF Div. III (2018 – 2020) (Project-no.: 176060)
  • The CurePPaC Study analysing non-surgical treatment strategies to Cure Pes Planovalgus associated Complaints
    PI: Heiner Baur, PhD
    Sponsor: SNF Div. III (2013 - 2016) (Project-no.: 140928)
  • Movement Analysis of Stairway Walking – a pilot study investigating the influence of in and out-toeing on the neuromuscular control and loading of the knee joint.
    PI: Heiner Baur, PhD. 
    Sponsor: BFH (Master-Theses).
  • “Sensorimotor Knee”: Sensorimotor control of the muscles surrounding the knee in subjects with intact and defective (acutely injured) anterior cruciate ligament.
    PI: Heiner Baur, PhD
    Sponsor: Lindenhofstiftung Bern (Project-no: 14-10-F)