We are currently conducting a variety of collaborative research projects supported by the National Institutes of Health and other funding sources. More details can be found in our Annual Report.
COBRE for Women in Science and Engineering on Osteoarthritis (NIH)
PI: Thomas Buchanan
Collaborators: David Burris, Jill Higginson, Christopher Price, Liyun Wang, Catherine Kirn-Safran, April Kloxin, Lynn Snyder Mackler, Erica Selva, Charles (Buz) Swanik, Joseph Zeni, Jr., Dawn Elliott, Yvonne Ou, Xinqiao Jia
Abstract: Five subprojects will be carried out under the Center umbrella. They span the continuum from tissue engineering to clinical evaluation. The subprojects are multidisciplinary and the participants are drawn from multiple academic units in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Health Sciences. The project titles are (1) Perlecan and Heparanase in Cartilage Growth and Healing, (2) Solute Transport in the Subchondral Bone Plate of Osteoarthritic Joints, (3) Risk Factors for Progression of Osteoarthritis of the Knee, (4) Joint Loading and the Progression of Osteoarthritis following Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA), and (5) Knee Stiffness, Proprioception and Instability affect Knee Control in OA.
Robotic Exoskeletons, FES, and Biomechanics: Treating Movement Disorders (NIH)
PI: Sunil Agrawal
Collaborators: Jill Higginson, Stuart Binder-Macleod, John Scholz
Abstract: This renewal application builds upon the success of our team in developing novel un-motorized and motorized exoskeletons and Functional Electric Stimulation (FES) systems for gait training of stroke and other motor-impaired patients.
Muscle Morphology, Strength and Compensatory Strategies Following Stroke (NIH)
PI: Jill Higginson
Collaborators: Darcy Reisman, Thomas Buchanan, Stuart Binder-Macleod
Abstract: Stroke is a leading cause of long-term adult disability. The relationship between altered muscle forcegenerating capacity, activation and coordination during walking after stroke is unclear. Through coupled experiments and simulations, we can identify factors that limit gait speed post-stroke and assist rehabilitation professionals in designing treatment interventions that address the specific impairments of an individual subject. www.simtk.org
Solute Transport in the Bone Lacunar- Canalicular System (NIH)
PI: Liyun Wang
Collaborators: Randall Duncan
Abstract: This proposed research will delineate the transport mechanisms that are essential
for osteocyte viability and bone mechanotransduction, and provide new insights
into mass transport in other biological and engineered systems such as tissue
ACL Injured Knee: MRI and Biomechanical Modeling (NIH)
PI: Tom Buchanan
Collaborators: Lynn Snyder-Mackler, Kurt Manal
Abstract: The aim of this study is to look at changes in and (1) muscle/tendon morphology, (2) extensor and flexor strength, and (3) joint stabilization function, after post-rupture surgical reconstruction of ACL using bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft (BPTB), and semitendinosus gracilis (STG) autografts. We hypothesize that the morphology, activation and forces in the muscles about the knees will be different in the ACL reconstructed knees compared to unimpaired knees. Recovery from ACL injury is a major health problem, affecting millions of Americans a year. Better understanding of the recovery from this surgery may reduce future incidents of OA in these patients
Fast Treadmill Training/ Functional Electrical Stimulation to Improve Walking (NIH)
PI: Stuart Binder-Macleod and Jill Higginson
Collaborators: Darcy Reisman, Bill Farquhar, Katy Rudolph
Abstract: The overall goal of this multidisciplinary research partnership is to develop a physiologically based intervention to improve functional ambulation in individuals who have sustained a stroke.
PI: Sunil Agrawal
Collaborators: Jill Higginson, John Scholz
Abstract: In this proposed study, we will complete development of a wearable exoskeleton along with a control system that can provide various levels of assistance to persons with arm movement impairments following stroke. We will then pilot test this hypothesis on eight mildly impaired stroke survivors by investigating the extent to which assisted control of the arm posture improves the ability to use the wrist and hand for orientation and function. We will also perform biomechanical modeling to investigate how the muscle synergies controlling the proximal joints change with training. This work will have significant implications for understanding of basic mechanisms of neuromuscular coordination and neuro-rehabilitation of persons after traumatic brain injury. A list of the 15 developmental research projects.