Biomechanical projects [Mechanical engineering]

Biomechanical projects

Biomechanics Lab

"Postural Responses to Perturbations in People with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy." Becker, M., DeVita, P., Meardon, S., Domire, Z., Kim, S. (2014)

The purposes of this study are to compare the relationships of postural stability measures time-to-contact and center-of-gravity sway area with disease severity in anteroposterior and mediolateral perturbations in people with diabetic neuropathy and to identify the relationships among neuropathic severity and duration with postural stability measure time-to-contact during oblique postural perturbations. 3D Motion capture will be used along with the NeuroCom Research Module balance system. We hypothesize that time-to-contact will provide a more sensitive measure of postural stability for people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, in regards to all directions of horizontal translational perturbations, as compared to traditional stabilometric measures and that as the severity of neuropathy increases, postural stability in response to horizontal translational perturbations will decrease.

"Joint Torque and Power Redistribution During Accelerated Walking in Older Adults." Rabideau, S., Schuster, D., Bishop, R., Goel, L., Rider, P., Willson, J., DeVita, P. (2014)

The purpose of this study is to compare joint torques and powers between younger (18-25 years old) and older (70-85 years old) adults as they accelerate while walking. A treadmill with a force platform will be used to accelerate participants from 0.5 m/s to 2.0 m/s at three different acceleration rates, 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7 m/s2. Joint torques and powers will be assessed using kinematic data obtained from a 3D motion capture system and the ground reaction forces measured by the force platform. It is expected that older adults will display larger increases in hip torque and power and smaller increases in ankle torque and power compared to younger adults during accelerated walking.

"Effects of Extracellular Matrix in Skeletal Muscle on Mechanotransduction Signaling." Salzano, M., Hibbert, J., Rider, P., Domire, Z. (2014)

The purpose this study is to investigate the effects of muscle stiffness on FAK phosphorylation in rats to find a relationship between stiffness and impaired mechanotransduction signaling. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation has been implicated in mechanotransduction, the conversion of a mechanical stretch to cellular process, which is important in a muscle's response to exercise. Rats will exercised on one leg on a dynamometer, and subsequently sacrificed, where their dorsiflexors muscles will be tested for stiffness and FAK activity. We hypothesize that increased muscle stiffness with age impairs the mechanotransduction signaling of muscle cells in response to stretch.

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