Research

Facilities

Human Functional Performance Lab (HFPL)

The USF HFPL, located at the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, is a 6500 sq. ft. research facility designed and equipped to assess and equipped to assess performance of neuromusculoskeletal conditions involved in translational and clinical research. The HFPL is a cutting-edge facility for the assessment of impairments and functional limitations. Equipment in the HFPL includes:

  • 8 camera Vicon Motion Analysis System M-series array provides real time kinetic (force) and kinematic (motion) data acquisition for display, storage and subsequent analysis. Normal and abnormal movement associated with disease, injury or the use of an adaptive or robotic device can be quantified and the associated neuromuscular impairments or functional limitations identified.
  • Visual 3D Motion Analysis Biomechanics Software (C-Motion) allows analysis of motion data collected using motion analysis system
    • Bertec Split Belt Fully Instrumented Treadmill (FIT) reduces gait lab space requirements and eliminates the limitations inherent in a traditional gait walkway. Researchers and clinicians can perform numerous testing conditions in a compact 2 meter space with variable incline and speed settings. Bertec's FIT allows you to
    • Eliminate long gait analysis walkways and reduce patient fatigue
    • Perform more efficient gait analysis studies in a smaller area
    • Avoid unreliable results by eliminating multiple steps on the same plate
    • Increase patient throughput
    • Test numerous conditions with the variable incline and speed options
    • Test Uphill & downhill locomotion
    • Simulate tripping response
    • Measure full-body forces by adding fully instrumented handrails
    • Protect patients with adjustable handrails and optional overhead safety structure
  • BIODEX computerized dynamometer allows detailed measurements of force, work, torque, and power generated in terms not only of maximal values but of values throughout a range of motion. BIODEX can produce very reliable force measurements for muscular strength and endurance assessment.
  • BIODEX Balance System SD force platform designed to meet the needs of everyone looking to improve balance, increase agility, develop muscle tone and treat a wide variety of pathologies. Using this unique device, clinicians can assess neuromuscular control by quantifying the ability to maintain dynamic bilateral and unilateral postural stability on a static or unstable surface.
  • Neurocom SOT: a computerized tool for the assessment and rehabilitation of balance and mobility disorders. The SOT protocols isolate the functional contributions of vestibular, visual, and somatosensory inputs, central integrating mechanisms, and neuromuscular system outputs for postural and balance control. The product line is designed for use by medical professionals in a broad spectrum of medical disciplines including otolaryngology, neurology, physiatry, orthopedics/sports medicine, geriatrics, and physical rehabilitation to assess and manage a wide range of acute and chronic disorders.
  • Protokinetic Walkway: This system measures temporal (timing), spatial (distance) and pressure gait data via an electronic walkway connected to a computer. The walkway contains sensor pads encapsulated in a roll up carpet. This system provides accurate, reliable measures of all aspects of the gait cycle.
  • Electromyography: A Noraxon Myosystem is available to collect telemetric surface and needle electromyography with a foot switch and electric goniometric inputs for capturing isolated muscle performance, gait and joint range of motion. The data acquisition software is interfaced to allow wireless data capture for up to 12 channels.
  • BODPOD gold standard: body composition, resting metabolic rate, total energy expenditure
  • COSMED K4b2 portable metabolic system, which can provide energy expenditure measures during functional activities or in field-testing settings

Integrative and Applied Muscle Biology (IAMB) Laboratory

The Integrative and Applied Muscle Biology (IAMB) Laboratory, located in MDC 3026, is fully equipped to study muscle contractility at a variety of levels conduct all of the biochemical assays related to the proposed research. In addition to typical wet lab apparatus (e.g., dedicated pH meter, -40 and -80  C freezers, refrigerated centrifuge), the IAMB Laboratory is equipped to carry out tissue biochemistry (e.g., immunoblotting, SDS-PAGE). Specific equipment related to muscle testing includes:

In Situ Contractile Testing Apparatus: The PI has a customized Kopf Spinal Frame which can be fitted with various World Precision Instruments force transducers, a personal computer for data storage and analysis, 1 Grass S48 electrical stimulator with PSIU6 stimulus isolation unit, a WPI TB4M multichannel Amplifier, a heat lamp and aBAT-12 temperature monitoring system with rectal probe. This system has been used in several peer-reviewed publications (PMID#24316040, #21993787, #21966643, #20874807, #16857718, #18091018) for in situ contractile testing of the rat hindlimb. A VetEquip Compact Anesthesia System (isoflurane) is available from LAR.

Isolated Muscle Testing System: The PI has an Aurora 1205A Isolated Muscle System interfaced with Spike 2 software, CED Micro1401 interface, circulating water system for temperature control, Grass S48 electrical stimulator & CEM stimulus splitter for the collection of ex vivo contractile data. The interchangeable components of the system have been customized to allow testing of both rat and mouse muscles. Appropriate CO2 and O2 cylinders are available for the organ baths.

JASCO FP6200 Fluorometer: This cuvette based system allows collection of spectral and time series data for metabolite and enzymatic activity assays. The dual excitation and dual emission detection of fluorescent dyes such as those used to measure calcium handling, as well as . For the proposed studies, we will be working with Fura-2 in our assays of SR calcium leak, release and re-uptake. The system also has a magnetic stirring module and water-jacketed cuvette temperature controller. The system is also capable of performing fluorometric metabolite and enzyme assays.

Grip Testing Apparatus: The PI has a Columbus Instruments dual sensor 1027DR grip strength meter with a triangle bar, T-bar and grid attachments.