Gait Analysis System
One of the key research activities done at HEIC is related to the analysis of human movement, both for rehabilitation purposes and for diagnosis and quantification of motor and postural conditions. Research in this area is made possible by the expertise of the team and by the availability of the following facilities:
- First and second generation Strideway™ (Tekscan)® systems, modular pressure measurement platforms for human gait analysis.
- Visualeye II®. Portable motion capture system with active markers, 0.5mm precision
- Kistler force plates, Type 9286B. Multicomponent force plates for gait and balance analysis.
- FLOAT rehabilitation system, a dynamic multidirectional overhead body weight support (BWS) system that supports patients with gait impairments in the training and rehabilitation of their natural locomotion. It allows patients after stroke, spinal cord or brain injuries, incomplete paraplegia or orthopedic patients to relearn walking and safely train in an unrestricted three-dimensional space.
Biomechanical modeling and analysis
In parallel with experimental characterization of human movement, in the center we are also working on the mathematical and numerical modeling of biomechanical systems. The research activity in this area relies both on fundamental mathematical modeling and on the use of commercial software, in particular:
- AnyBody Modeling System™ and workstation for biomechanical modeling and simulations. Simulation of the human body working in concert with the environment. Advanced simulation capability to calculate individual muscle forces, joint contact-forces and moments and metabolic data.
In this area the team is working on developing and testing new non-invasive physiological techniques and tools to predict and diagnose cardiovascular diseases at an early stage when intervention and rehabilitation are effective. The team is using Intelligence (AI) and machine learning approaches to create a paradigm shift in CVD diagnosis.
Some of the noteworthy equipment under this facility are:
- ADInstruments Physiological measurement system, together with the LabChart software, enables complete data acquisition (DAQ) systems for a diverse range of research and education applications, including human physiology, electrophysiology and heart systems.
- Exercise physiology measurement system to analyze the physiological effects of exercise, consisting in a complete physiology recording system for monitoring cardiorespiratory and metabolic function during exercise.
- Delsys EMG system enabling biofeedback via wearable sensor devices and real time EMG software
- Exercise Treadmill for exercise physiology research easily compatible with other physiological measurement systems in the lab.
- Instrumented Treadmill with independent motion control of two belts, high accuracy and ease of control for a variety of research applications
- Fetal ECG system for non-invasive, enable accurate measurement of fetal cardiac information detected from the maternal abdominal wall, such as fetal electrocardiogram, maternal electrocardiogram, and uterine myoelectricity, as well as diagnostic support
- EEG system with noninvasive electrodes, for research and educational activities
Minimally Invasive Therapeutics and Medical Device development
One important research area at HEIC is focused on the development of minimally invasive treatment, therapeutics and medical devices based on innovative technology. The team is working on model driven design for minimally invasive endoluminal approach catheters and a therapeutic nano-based drug delivery system targeted for cardiovascular diseases.
- Vascular replicator, silicone vasculature and advanced hemodynamic replication systems, provides a realistic experience when performing endovascular procedures empowering training and device development
- Heart simulator, simulating the realistic motion of an average human heart for analysis and validation of beating heart access and interventional techniques
- 4D bioprinter, able to create dynamic 3D patterned biological structures
- Biaxial testing platform, fully equipped to perform biaxial test to understand mechanical properties of materials and tissues
- Microfabrication CNC milling system with Linux based CAD for miniature parts
- Nanomedicine facilities, dedicated laboratory equipment for nano-medicine research with particular application to smart drugs