Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center

The Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Motion Analysis Research Laboratory

VAMCMARLThe Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Motion Analysis Research Laboratory (JBVAMC-MARL) is a state-of-the-art human movement research laboratory designed especially for making measurements necessary for quantifying human movements. JBVAMC-MARL has a motion measurement system consisting of eight Eagle Digital Real-Time cameras from Motion Analysis Corporation (MAC, Santa Rosa, CA) that is used to measure movement kinematics. The locations of the markers that are placed on the body help to define the particular biomechanical model that is used to analyze the data. As the subject moves around the capture volume, the positions of the markers are recorded by the cameras that are placed on the periphery of the room. Using OrthoTrak gait analysis software (MAC), JBVAMC-MARL researchers can process the data and generate graphs and data files for further analysis. JBVAMC-MARL also has Visual3D software (C-Motion, Germantown, MD) for creating more advanced biomechanical models of various movements.

JBVAMC-MARL has six AMTI (Advanced Mechanical Technology Inc., Watertown, MA) force platforms embedded in the walkway for measuring ground reaction forces as subjects walk across them. An 8-channel telemetered EMG system (Noraxon, USA Inc., Scottsdale, AZ) enables muscle activity to be recorded during human movement activities. MARL has a pedar pedobarograph system (Novel Electronics Inc., Munich, Germany) that uses insoles for measuring pressures between the foot (anatomical or prosthetic) and the shoe, or the foot and orthosis, during walking. Additionally, JBVAMC-MARL has a pliance pedobarograph system (Novel Electronics, Inc., Munich, Germany) that uses sensor pads to measure pressures between a person’s residual limb and their prosthetic socket. JBVAMC- MARL also uses a Cosmed K4b2 Portable Metabolic Measurement System (Cosmed, Rome, Italy) for collecting energy expenditure data during activity and a Cosmed Sport Treadmill (T170) with a large belt surface, safety harness, incline/decline capabilities, and adjustable handrails. JBVAMC-MARL has a digital video subsystem consisting of two digital camcorders, a digital media recorder (DMR), a monitor, and a video-editing board that is used for recording split-screen displays of two simultaneous views of research subjects during experiments.

All of the measurement systems in JBVAMC-MARL are integrated to allow for the synchronized collection of data in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the particular human movement activity. One of the primary goals of JBVAMC-MARL is to provide researchers, and ultimately clinicians, with more complete knowledge and a better understanding of the mechanical interactions that occur between humans and prosthetic/orthotic systems. This knowledge should contribute to improved fitting and the manufacturing processes for these systems, and help individuals using these devices to lead an improved quality of life.

JBVAMC Motion Sensors

Motion analysis research at NUPOC.