The Advanced Interdisciplinary Movement Science (AIMS) Laboratory is a 2,200 square foot facility that provides space for personnel, equipment, data collection and data analysis.
The AIMS Lab is equipped with the BTS Bioengineering SMART Capture System that includes 12 infrared cameras, 6 force plates embedded in the floor, and 16 fully integrated wireless EMG sensors. The BTS Bioengineering G Walk Gait Assessment Tool is used for kinematic real-time gait analysis including cadences, stride frequency and length, and stance/swing phase duration. An isokinetic dynamometer (Biodex System 3) is used to measure joint torques during voluntary and passive movement of the upper and lower extremities. Research projects within the laboratory utilize the isokinetic dynamometer, in conjunction with other equipment, to investigate control of healthy and pathological movement and include measures of stiffness, rigidity and fatigue.
Measuring Muscle Activity (EMG)
The AIMS Lab is equipped with three state-of-the-art electromyography (EMG) systems. A 16- channel wireless EMG system is integrated with the BTS Bioengineering SMART Capture System and accompanies kinetic assessment and kinematic motion capture. Additionally, the AIMS Lab is also equipped with a decompositional EMG System (dEMG). The dEMG system represents the state-of-the-art EMG system and is capable of recording and decomposing the surface EMG signal into individual motor unit action potential trains. This EMG system allows researchers within the AIMS Lab to directly investigate control of the neuromuscular system at the motor unit level and provides greater insight into mechanisms underlying neuromuscular phenomena including fatigue, force gradation and co-activation in healthy and pathological populations.
Measuring Metabolic Function
The AIMS Lab also contains a metabolic measurement system (TrueOne 2400, Parvo Medics, Inc.). The metabolic system can be used to assess cardiorespiratory function at rest or during exercise. The metabolic measurement system can be used clinically to assess a patient’s cardiorespiratory health or to assess the efficacy of a given intervention. The metabolic system can also be used to quantify an individual’s cardiorespiratory fitness using validated testing protocols, known as VO2 testing.
Measuring Postural Stability
In the AIMS Lab, a modified Nintendo Wii Balance Board (CSMI Solutions) and a series of accelerometers are used to assess postural stability during quiet standing tasks. The Wii Balance Board has been shown to accurately quantify center of pressure locations during quiet standing and has been used to investigate changes in postural stability associated with healthy aging, pathological conditions and balance training. The accelerometers available within the laboratory are used to measure accelerations and center of mass sway during quiet standing and dynamic tasks including level walking.
The AIMS Lab has a diagnostic ultrasound (LOGIQ, GE Healthcare, Inc.) used to image various tissues at a range of depths. The diagnostic ultrasound can be used to image muscular, ligamentous and cardiovascular tissues, can guide need electrodes used in clinical electrophysiology, and can quantify blood flow velocity using the Doppler setting. The ultrasound system is used to conduct research pertaining to the efficacy of therapeutic interventions and for the development of evidence-based therapeutic modalities.
Other equipment items contained within the AIMS Lab include two high speed treadmills, Woodway and TuffTread, Inc. and two cycle ergometers (828E, Monark Exercise AB). The Woodway treadmill is capable of going up to 22% grade incline, and -3% decline.