Facilities and Resources

There are two laboratories on campus, totaling 2800 square feet, that are dedicated to support the physical therapy department research mission.

Human Movement Performance  Lab

A core laboratory space fostering interdisciplinary PT and OMM research occupies 2,300 square feet of space in the Center for Biohealth. The laboratory is equipped with a motion analysis system for kinematic testing of normal and pathological motion, force plates for measurement of center of pressure, and computational facilities for creating patient-specific models and simulations. A delsys electromyographic system capable of surface and fine wire data collection is also available. The v-gait caren system including dual-belt instrumented treadmill, along with visual display and caren software, has recently been acquired and provides us with the necessary tools to create and test human movement and posture in virtual environments. The laboratory is equipped with several software programs  matlab and labview), which are routinely used in the lab and supported by the lab engineer.

A full time research associate and a project coordinator support the activities within the lab. In 2010, the institution made a substantial investment on behalf of the physical therapy program ($425,000) and acquired a v-gait caren system. In addition, the physical therapy department has purchased four additional motion analysis cameras to expand the motion capture system previously installed by the omm department to a 12-camera system.

V-gait caren system is a state-of-the-art computer assisted rehabilitation environment network that integrates traditional instrumentation of investigating posture and gait with a virtual reality environment. Specific components of the v-gait caren system include:

  • Dual belt instrumented treadmill that can function in self-pace or predetermined speed mode. Two force plates are embedded under each belt.
  • The treadmill can deliver perturbations in 2 degrees of freedom, pitch (± 10 degrees variable incline in walking direction), and fast sway (±10 cm sideways perturbations).
  • 180 degree cylindrical screen for visualization with 3 front projectors and custom driver to blend images as well as a head mounted display
  • Caren software to control and synchronize all inputs and data collected
  • Various vr environment scenes and applications
  • Motion analysis capabilities: 12-camera eagle real-time digital motion capture system (motion analysis corp, santa rosa, ca).

The Functional Mobility Assessment Lab

Is approximately 500 square feet and is designated for functional mobility assessment for human subjects as needed. It is equipped with the following instrument and equipment: the 10-foot long tekscan’s computerized hr walkway 4 versatek pressure measurement system (model: hrv4) allows researchers to assess gait parameters and force from each foot. The portable wireless f-scan versatek in-shoe pressure measurement system (model: fv2) is functionally similar to the hrv4 system. The fv2 system enables researchers to view the real-time gait parameters and pressure distribution of the two insole sensors at the same time (left & right foot) and to record the same information for playback and analysis. The portable near-infrared (nir) spectroscopy system (the inspectratm tissue oxygenation monitor) is a non-invasive instrument that permits researchers to measure local tissue oxygen saturation (sto2) in brain tissue and skeletal muscles. The neurocom basic balance master system, using an 18” x 18’ fixed dual force plate to assess the vertical forces from the subject’s feet, is able to provide objective assessment and retraining of the motor and sensory control of balance with visual biofeedback. The portable 16-channel delsys system is also available for surface emg. The 16-foot long gaitrite walkway with real time camera provides opportunity to assess gait parameters as well as the subject’s posture. The newly installed solo-step rehabilitation support system (ceiling track and harness) that enable us to evaluate subjects who may demonstrate unstable gait or poor balance during assessment.


The Autism & Developmental Disorders Lab

The multidisciplinary research team working together to understand ASD.