Experimental Biomechanics Facilities
- Vicon Nexus (8 camera system)
The Vicon motion capture system allows us to collect kinematic data to study an individual’s gait. Retro-reflective markers are placed on the subject’s skin at anatomical landmarks, and their location is tracked by our 8 infrared cameras.
Ground Reaction Force
- Kistler force plate (in instrumented treadmill as well as 2 set in floor for over-ground walking)
Using force plates (1 located in our instrumented treadmill, 2 located in the floor) we are able to collect ground reaction force data. This enables us to study the effect of changes in gait on overall body kinematics.
- CleveMed KinetiSense portable EMG
Through the use of EMG we are able to monitor muscle activation time and duration during gait and study the interactions between muscle activation, kinematics and kinetics.
Activity Monitoring Devices
- NSBRI tri-axial accelerometer/tri-axial
Tri-axial accelerometers allow us to study the acceleration of areas that are impacted by large accelerations during gait, such as the tibia. Large tibial accelerations may lead to the development of tibial stress fractures, thus determining how to mitigate these accelerations is an area of significant study.
- Pedar in-shoe dynamic pressure measuring system
With the in-shoe plantar pressure system we are able to collect plantar pressure while an individual moves freely without boundaries. Areas of high-pressure may be indications of an at risk area for injury. This information can be used for the development of custom orthotics to help distribute pressure away from at-risk areas. Areas of previous injury can also be studied, for example, to determine the implications of a metatarsal stress fracture on plantar pressure.
- Novel barefoot emed pressure measuring system
The barefoot emed plantar pressure measuring system allows for evaluating the pressure distribution under the foot in both static and dynamic conditions. Using this data, high-pressure areas can be identified as potentially at risk for injury development. This allows for the development of person-specific interventions, such as custom orthotics.
The knee joint is a complex structure. There are six degrees of freedom (DoF) between the tibia and the femur controlled by many muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Normal knee flexion involves translation of the tibia along the femur as well as rotation, making knee simulations computationally difficult. Analyzing the biomechanical effects of individual components in the knee can provide relevant information for developing new surgical treatments or prosthetic devices.
The CORE lab uses a six DoF HEXAPOD robot to move cadaveric knees through ranges of motion with forces up to 2,250 N and 1,000 N-m from 0 to 120 degrees of flexion. Measurement of the joint coordinate system (JCS) during passive knee flexion (i.e. with zero forces) allows us to measure the motion of the tibia relative to the femur pre- and post-surgical treatments. Muscle actuators can simulate up to 1,000 N of static loading to determine the biomechanical contribution of each muscle individually. Instrumentation of the knee with a Tekscan pressure sensor allows us to measure patellofemoral or tibiofemoral contact forces in vivo. A microstrain differential variable reluctance transducer (DVRT) can measure ligament or tendon strain with +/- 1 µm accuracy.
The Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine arthroscopy room is available for performing surgical treatments on cadaveric specimens which allows us to measure the effectiveness of various types of procedures or prosthetic devices.
The ability to measure the biomechanical properties of the various components within the knee in vivo while undergoing clinically relevant forces and ranges of motion can lead to new developments in several aspects of medicine. We are currently focusing on the role of the ACL in stabilization of the knee and exploring conditions under which the ACL is at risk for rupture.
Our lab has a wide range of equipment and software resources for computational biomechanics. We have expertise in a number of areas including:
- musculoskeletal modeling,
- finite element analysis,
- image processing, and
- 3D scanning.