The movement laboratory allows for a deeper analysis of the movement and a better understanding of motor disorders.
We analyse movement sequences and muscle activity using state-of-the-art technology in our movement laboratory. This enables the precise detection of abnormalities, such as movement asymmetries or incorrect loading stresses. Simultaneously, we improve our understanding of how therapeutic aids and interventions, such as exoskeletons, robotics, orthoses, shoes or a targeted training, can have an impact on movement and health. Our employees are experts in the fields of physiotherapy and movement analysis. Together with our project partners, we work to close the gap between development and implementation. We understand both the concerns of patients, as well as the requirements of the medical professionals applying these new developments, thus benefitting our clinical partners, researchers, product developers in the medical technology industry and ultimately patients.
In 3D movement analysis, reflective markers are placed at specific points on the body. These markers are registered by infrared cameras in the laboratory and, using biomechanical models, we generate 3D movement data. We also have the capability to perform electromyography measurements through the attach-ment of electrodes to the skin.
In this way, we can:
- Calculate joint angle: The joint position is calculated from the locations of individual markers and the consequent movement sequence recorded.
- Measure forces: The magnitude and direction of the forces acting on the body can be determined using force plates.
- Determine moments: The combination of movement and force measurements makes it possible to determine the moments of forces on the joints and so to detect load peaks and overloads during a movement sequence.
- Record muscle activity: We observe how muscle tension develops during a movement sequence and how the muscle reacts to the forces acting on the body.
- Carry out functional measurements: We measure balance, coordination, speed and strength in the everyday environment. We also analyse gait in simple and complex situations.
- Force measuring plates and 12 infrared cameras for 3D motion analysis
- Wireless 16-channel surface electromyography for measuring muscle activity
- 3D inertial measurement systems for mobile motion analysis
- Acceleration sensors
- Mobile carpet for gait analysis
- Portable devices for capturing physical activity in everyday life
Our movement laboratory has recorded standard gait data from 100 test persons. The standard data set is made use of in various research disciplines, for example, human movement and physiotherapy. The data are used for comparison in the analysis and evaluation of, for example, gait disorders such as dragging foot or insufficient knee flexion. The Institute of Physiotherapy has made the human gait standard data free to use on the Dataverse open data platform. As such, the institute is contributing to the Swiss universities Open Science initiative that supports open research data and open access to publications.
We implement various projects in collaboration with partners from research, clinics and industry. A selection:
Development of a soft, adaptable exoskeleton for people with walking impairments.
Project partners: Institute of Mechatronic Systems ZHAW; four further European research groups from the fields of robotics, bioengineering, ambient intelligence and design; and four companies and clinical partners from the fields of rehabilitation technology, geriatrics and prosthetics.
Improvement of movement therapy for the cervical spine through computerized training, feedback and progress monitoring. Development of a new mobile measurement technology and integration of this technology into new neck-specific software. Further development of the therapy according to the «user-centred design principle»
The aim of this feasibility study is to identify the external conditions which activate the pelvic floor muscles when walking or standing. On the basis of this information, an insole is developed in a follow-up project, which, in combination with a soft-elastic shoe, has a training effect on the pelvic floor musculature and can therefore serve as a therapy approach for urinary incontinence in postnatal women.
The T-CHAIR is a robotic rehabilitation device to regenerate the trunk muscles and to improve balance while sitting for stroke patients. The chair was developed by the IMES Institute for Mechanical Systems. The requisite kinematic analysis of the 3D movement of the trunk was performed in the movement laboratory. A user study is being carried out in cooperation with the Rehabilitation Clinic Valens. In December 2017 a European follow-up project was started with partners from Belgium, financed within the framework of the EU «Eurostars» programme. The aim is to further develop the technology and bring it to market maturity.
Back health of the horse population in Switzerland: In more than ¾ of sport and recreational horses shown to a veterinarian for problems with performance or rideability, subclinical diseases of the musculoskeletal system are the cause of the symptoms. An inventory of the back health of Swiss riding horses was undertaken in this study. An important component was the development and application of physio-therapeutic and sport-specific tests. The findings of the study are to be incorporated into the training and further education of horse specialists, as well as the basic education of recrea-tional riders.
Our team is made up of professionals from the fields of physiotherapy and movement science with broad experience in research, teaching and the provision of services.