The Institute for Surgical Technology and Biomechanics (ISTB) was established in 2003 as part of a restructuring process of the former Maurice E. Müller Institute for Biomechanics. The institute stands in the tradition of Maurice E. Müller, the former chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Bern. As one of the pioneers of modern orthopaedic surgery, Maurice Müller is known not only for his many innovations related to devices and instruments for joint replacement and fracture treatment, but also for his vision that only a close collaboration between surgeons, scientists, engineers, and industrialists will allow sustainable progress in the field.

The mission of the multidisciplinary team of the ISTB is to advance human understanding, health, and the quality of life through

  • internationally recognized research, discovery, and invention in the area of biomedical engineering;
  • translation of research results from the lab to the clinic to improve patient care;
  • transfer of scientific discoveries and biomedical technology through national and international industrial collaborations;
  • a world class post-graduate biomedical engineering education program.


The efforts in the fields of surgical technologies are directed towards the advancements of surgical instruments and procedures using computer assistance and enabling technologies. The focus in the biomechanics area is the application of mechanical principles to biological systems. In order to improve current diagnostic and treatment methods, a combination of experimental and computational studies is applied.

The ISTB brings together scientists from different areas of biomedical research and actively collaborates with other research and development groups nationally and internationally. Through our Center for Competence in Medical Technology, knowledge and technology transfer is promoted by involving partners from the Medical Technology industry. Since 2006, the ISTB has coordinated the specialized Master for Biomedical Engineering program of the University of Bern and has an integral role in the Biomedical Engineering PhD program.