Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)
Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

The Human Mobility Performance Laboratory (HMPL) & High Speed Skeletal Imaging Laboratory

One in two adults around the globe suffers from a musculoskeletal condition that requires treatment. These conditions restrict performance of activities of daily living, which limits the independence of our aging population. Importantly, sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Since the primary role of the musculoskeletal system is to provide mechanical function, many treatment strategies attempt to alter the mechanics of joints - organs that facilitate motion and transmit force. It is notoriously challenging to determine whether treatments for musculoskeletal conditions alter joint mechanics as intended.

The purpose of our research is to provide a clinically relevant understanding of joint health and disease. We accomplish this research by directly measuring and modeling a person’s specific anatomy in motion while they perform high-demand activities of daily living. Precise measurements that describe the motion of the skeletal system coupled with state of the art modeling approaches will provide us with a new understanding of the musculoskeletal system. Armed with new insights into musculoskeletal joint health and disease, our clinical collaborators will then be enabled to develop optimal treatment strategies tailored to the individual.

To address this research, Queen’s University and the Local Hospitals have collaborated to establish The Human Motion Performance Laboratory (HMPL) and the High-Speed Skeletal Imaging Laboratory (HSSI-Lab). These laboratories are located side-by-side at Hotel Dieu Hospital – the Ambulatory Patient Care Centre serving Kingston and the Greater Kingston Area. The location of these labs provides optimal access to patient populations along with the health care professionals who are on the front lines treating them. The HMPL provides the ability to perform biomechanical stress tests that can better detect deficiencies in joint function compared to traditional approaches. The HSSI-Lab allows us to precisely measure the mechanics and internal structures of the joint during a subset of the biomechanical stress tests performed in the HMPL. Combined with our expertise in computational modeling of biomechanical systems, these laboratories will provide us with a unique look into joint mechanics that will allow us to determine why the musculoskeletal system develops pathology, what optimal function is, and how to restore it

Human Motion Performance Laboratory

Human Motion Performance Laboratory

The research will be performed in a state-of-the-art 3000 sq. ft. facility for the comprehensive biomechanical and neuromuscular assessment of total body movement and physical performance. The laboratory has a 12-camera motion capture volume with 6 moveable magnetic base force platforms, 16 channel wireless electromyography, portable metabolic measurement system, and an instrumented staircase, as well as a separate 7-camera motion capture volume that surrounds a dual-belt instrumented treadmill that allows for up and down hill walking and running. This lab has been designed to measure the biomechanics of human motion during daily activities including highly demanding occupational and recreational tasks.

High Speed Skeletal Imaging Lab

High Speed Skeletal Imaging Lab

The HSSI-Lab is a 1500 sq. ft. facility that allows accurate measurement of six-degree-of-freedom (three rotations and three translations) skeletal motion for nearly any joint in the human body during dynamic activities. Biplanar videoradiography (BVR) captures high-speed x-ray images up to 1,000 frames-per-second using two X-ray source - image intensifier pairs. The image intensifiers convert X-rays into visible light, which is recorded by a high-speed video camera. A synchronized 8-camera motion capture system can simultaneously record the position and orientation of the rest of the body that is outside the field of view of the x-ray system, while a high-resolution force plate records ground reaction forces and the location of the center of pressure. The HSSI-Lab also features a synchronized ultrasound system that can measure the mechanical properties and stretch of soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons.

Funded by CFI –