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Onderzoek

Onderzoek

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BIOMECHANICS

Positioning, vision and mission

Thanks to technological advances, healthcare has improved significantly in the past decades. This does not only lead to an increased life expectancy of the aging population with an increase in the proportion of elderly with specific pathologies, but also to the application of high-tech devices in the assessment and treatment of persons with motor disorders. Rehabilitation is an essential aspect in the treatment of patients with motor disorders, aimed at maintaining or improving independence and increasing the quality of life. Increased insights in how people with and without motor disorders move, contribute to the development of diagnostic and evaluative instruments but also to the development and/or optimisation of rehabilitation programs.

The research domain of biomechanics at REVAL focuses on both normal functioning and movement of humans and the altered function and dysfunction in the case of disorders and pathologies that affect the movement pattern. Further, there is a focus on the effects of aging, treatment/rehabilitation programs, recovery and adaptation on human movement. Currently, our biomechanics team has a strong emphasis in the research on the control of posture and gait focused on the whole body (upper & lower extremities and trunk) in children, adults and elderly with and without motor disorders. Fundamental, translational and clinical research are covered, aimed at optimising the rehabilitation of patients with motor disorders.

 

Research activities

Biomechanical balance strategies in children, adults and the elderly

Age-related changes in movements of trunk and arm during walking

Biomechanics and energetics during walking in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and the relation with fatigability

The effect of virtual reality balance training on balance during walking and standing in children with cerebral palsy (CP)

The role of the arms during walking and balance in persons with and without CP

The determinants of decreased balance control in CP

The effect of ankle-foot orthoses on the gait pattern in persons with CP and adults with drop foot

 

Operational methods and techniques

Kinematics: 2D & 3D movements registration (Simi), inertial sensors (Xsens), spatio-temporal parameters (Gaitrite, APDM)

Kinetics: ground reaction forces (AMTI)

Surface electromyography: muscle activation (Delsys)

Accelerometry: daily activity (Actigraph, MOX)

Anthropometry, joint range of motion, strength, proprioception & selective motor control

Clinical measurement scales w.r.t. mobility and balance

  

Collaborations

Within REVAL there are collaborations with the other clusters related to the movement pattern in pediatric, neurologic, musculoskeletal and geriatric populations.

 

Further, there are collaborations with different national and international research centers and institutes such as; KU Leuven (BE), University Hospital Leuven (BE), University of Antwerp (BE), Ghent University (BE), University Hospital Ghent (BE), Maastricht University (NL), VU University Amsterdam (NL), UMC Amsterdam location VUmc (NL), University of Cape Town (SA).

 

The cluster Biomechanics of REVAL is represented in different national and international organisations such as; Society for Movement Analysis Laboratories in the Low Lands, European Society for Movement analysis in Adults and Children, International Society for Posture and Gait Research.

 

  

Senior researchers

Prof. Dr. Pieter Meyns (assistant professor, Rehabilitation Sciences and Physioherapy)

 

PhD students

Maud van den Bogaart (Human Movement Sciences)

Kyra Theunissen (Human Movement Sciences)