Acadia Human Motion Lab Flexing Its Muscle

Nova Scotians with bad knees and athletes who worry about being sidelined by serious injuries can breathe a little easier knowing Acadia researchers are using sophisticated new tools to tackle their problems.

Some of Dr. Scott Landry's equipment being used in the John MacIntyre mLAB at Acadia

Some of Dr. Scott Landry’s equipment being used in the John MacIntyre mLAB at Acadia University (photo courtesy of Acadia)

Researchers within the University’s School of Kinesiology are using a new $860,000 state-of-the-art motion capture laboratory to study detailed movement tasks that may provide clues to help prevent devastating sporting injuries.

With Nova Scotian enduring the highest incidence of knee osteoarthritis in the country, Dr. Scott Landry, along with his undergraduate and graduate students, are using the equipment to find out why. They then hope to develop some prevention programs that might mitigate the concern.

The equipment and lab renovations were made possible with the financial support from Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT) and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), along with an additional $116,000 from other donors. It is one of Acadia’s largest CFI/NSRIT research projects.

The equipment housed within the John MacIntyre mLAB (motion Laboratory of Applied Biomechanics) includes a 19 camera motion capture system, 3 force platforms embedded in the floor, a 16 channel wireless electromyography (EMG) system for measuring muscle activity, an special force measuring treadmill, a 6 gate timing reaction system and various types of software for processing and analyzing human movement data.

This facility has built to supplement NSRIT/CFI-funded research facilities within the Center of Lifestyle Studies (COLS) at Acadia to allow for a more comprehensive and complete picture of health.

The new equipment provides students the opportunity to gain expertise operating sophisticated equipment for analyzing human movement. This is particularly beneficial to students pursuing careers in research or health related professions such as medicine, physiotherapy, athletic therapy or occupational therapy.

The new lab has allowed Dr. Landry and his mLAB research team to forge important research partnerships.  Shoe giant Adidas, for instance, is interested in lab analyses of its footware products to help determine their effectiveness on reducing injury and enhancing performance. Dr. Landry is also developing new relationships with Kinduct Technologies and the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, both based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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