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Neuromuscular Research Laboratory

The Neuromuscular Research Laboratory is focused on the neuro-motor control of movement, locomotion, and balance in healthy human subjects and people with neurological disorders and sports injuries. Through the study of posture and gait disorders in post-stroke individuals, as well as those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, researchers are developing novel approaches and technologies in neuro-rehabilitation.

The laboratory includes four office rooms, one entry room, two exchange rooms, one small testing room, and one large testing room.

Current Projects

  1. A robot-aided motor training in combination with acupuncture in stroke rehabilitation

  2. Impaired weight matching in stroke survivors

  3. Understanding ankle functional instability and the effect of balance training

  4. Age effect on balance recovery under mechanical perturbation

The laboratory is currently equipped with many pieces of expensive high-tech equipment, such as a motion measurement system, two force platforms, a desk robot used for upper extremity motor training, a wireless EMG system, and a Biodex Dynanometery System. To view enlargements of these devices, please select an image below.

Biodex System 3 Pro equipment photo

Biodex System 3 Pro
(Biodex Medical Systems, Inc., Shirley, New York)

This is a sophisticated piece of equipment for performing dynamometry on human subjects. It can be used to train and test isometric, isokinetic, isotonic and passive modes of muscle performance in normal and pathological conditions. The system can be used to test large as well as small joints of the body. These include the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle.

The laboratory has also purchased an attachment for measurements of trunk rotational strength. The system can provide concentric and eccentric isokinetic testing at speeds of 1 to 500 deg/s and 1 to 300 deg/s respectively. The instrument can measure a wide range of concentric torque (1 to 500 ft-lbs) and eccentric torque (1 to 300 ft-lbs).

TeleMyo™ 900 EMG System system
(U.S.A. Inc., Scottsdale, AZ)

This equipment measures and processes surface electromyography (SEMG) and associated signals using Noraxon's amplifier technology. Data is transmitted from the subject via radio frequency to a computer-connected receiver up to 300 yards (274.32 meters) away.

With the TeleMyo 900, subjects can be tested during real-life activities. This battery-operated system, including the receiver, is portable, compact and lightweight so that it can be used anywhere, indoors or outdoors. The current system in our laboratory can monitor eight muscles simultaneously collecting both raw and integrated signals.

AMTI OR6-5AMTI Biomechanics Force Platform
(Advanced Medical Technology, Inc., Watertown, MA)

The lab has two of these devices as part of an extended walk way to measure simultaneously forces about the anterior-posterio, medio-lateral and vertical axes of bodies in contact with the force platform surface, as well as the moment component about the vertical axis on its surface. This makes it useful to study ground reaction forces and moments for balance as well as gait studies.

Each force platform weighs about 70 pounds and can function within a wide range of temperature (0 to 125?F). The forces and moments are measured by strain gauges near the four corners of the platform. The upper limits of the platform are 5000N (1125lb) of vertical load and 2000N (450lb) of shear force applied anywhere on the platform.

i-glasses SVGA Head Mounted Display
( i-O Display Systems, Sacramento, California)

This device can be used to provide an immersive virtual world for subjects to interact with. It’s most notable feature is that the field of regard covers the entire sphere surrounding the viewer and there are no gaps in imagery regardless of which direction the user looks. It is primarily suited for first person point of view and has a resolution of 1.44 million pixels per display (800X600 RGB color sequential system).

It accepts either a VGA (640X480) or an SVGA (800X600) computer input at 60Hz. The field of view is 26.5 degrees diagonal and its eye relief is 25 mm. Its weight is not more than 7 Ounces, especially suited for patients and the weak.

InMotion2 Shoulder-Elbow Robot
(Interactive Motion Technology, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts)

With a workspace accommodating normal reach, this equipment moves, guides or perturbs a subject’s arm while it records motions and mechanical quantities such as position, velocity, and forces applied. Researchers may program the subject's video interactions, while therapy clinics have access to libraries of "video games" that engage patients in ways appropriate to their level of impairment. Software is designed to maximize safety, flexibility, and ease of use.

The operating system is a Linux Kernel Module with access to a small real-time microkernel, providing robust sampling rates. The RTLinux system provides data portals between kernel and user modes, enabling the LKM to exchange data with normal Linux processes for control input/output, output logging, or output display.

miniBird 800 6D Tracker
(Ascension Technology Corporation, Burlington, Vermont)

This is a six degrees-of-freedom measuring device used to measure the position and orientation of a small sensor with respect to a transmitter. The sensor is capable of making from 30 to 144 measurements per second of its position and orientation when it is located within 30 inches of its transmitter.

The miniBird determines position and orientation by transmitting a pulsed DC magnetic field that is measured by its sensor. From the measured magnetic field characteristics, the sensor computes its position and orientation, and makes this information available to the host computer.

OPTOTRAK 3020 Motion Analysis System
(Northern Digital, Inc. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)

A pre-configured and pre-calibrated system, this equipment allows fast set-up and immediate use for motion measurement. The system uses active markers with an accuracy of up to 0.1 mm and resolution of 0.01mm. It can collect 3D data with 3 markers at a frame rate of 450Hz. Its size and weight make it easy to move between locations.

The system has been widely used in the lab to collect kinematic data in studies of gait, gait initiation, single limb stance balance, and hand movement. In most of applications, the collected 3D raw data is further processed using the lab-made programs.

TrueOne® 2400 Metabolic Measurement System
(Parvo Medics, Inc. Sandy, UT)

This device measures VO2 max as well as lung function. Some specific measurements using the system include: VO2Max, RER, FEV, FVC, METS, VCO2, VE, VT. The system can be linked with any Polar® Heart Rate Monitor.

Last modified: Aug 23, 2021

Lab Director
Wen Liu

Wen Liu, PhD

Current Students
Clayton Wauneka, BS
Krystal Hay Tarang Jain, MS, PT
David Tran, BS

Linda Ladesich, MD
Fen Wang, MD