Ph.D. Research Proposal - The Propulsion Dynamics of Human Locomotion
Date: June 6, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Bossone Research Enterprise Center, Room: 302
Advisors: Carole Tucker, Ph.D., and Rami Seliktar, Ph.D.
Gait analysis is a process that quantifies biomechanical aspects of an individualís gait. It can be used to quantify abnormalities in gait, identify underlying biomechanical mechanisms and track changes in gait biomechanics over time or in response to surgical or clinical interventions. Gait analysis most commonly relies on inverse-dynamic modeling of the body as a set of linked rigid segments and anthropometric measures. Kinematic and kinetic data are captured through instrumentation such as camera based motion capture system and force plates. The data collected provides quantification of the bodyís segments movement, both translations and joint rotations, also known as kinematic measures. In addition, with the use of force plates, kinetic data, including ground reaction forces, can be obtained. The combination of kinematic, kinetic and anthropometric data can be used in inverse dynamic analysis to calculate net joint moments and powers. These are typically used for tracking changes and for clinical decision making. However, clinicians often rely most on the kinematic information provided, with limited use of the kinetic data. Further, the majority of quantitative gait analyses is performed in the confines of a closed space within a clinical setting, and only on level surfaces with limited walking lengths and such factors might impact the gait of the subject being tested. Another, often overlooked, component of gait analysis is the quantification of energy expenditure, in particular the interplay between kinetic measures and mechanical energy changes. Current data collection and analysis methods do not capitalize on the inter-connectedness of the various gait analysis data and an analytical model that can bridge and better utilize the available information is needed.
The long-term goal of this research is to develop data collection and analytic methods to combine kinetic and kinematic data that reflect the interplay between kinetic and energy expenditure data in gait and that provide the beginning means to support data collection outside of traditional laboratories. In addition, application of these methods to pathological gait, specifically that of children with Cerebral Palsy, will be preliminarily assessed. In order to achieve this long term goal, the primary short term goal reflected in this current work is to develop analytic means to determine the acceleration of the center of mass and ground reaction forces during gait that relate to the consistency and stability of the gait pattern, as well as the energy components underlying the gait pattern.
The Bossone Research Enterprise Center is located at the corner of 32nd and Market Streets.