Projects in the Neuromuscular Mechanics Lab investigate muscle structure and function across a range of activities. We study architectural properties of muscle during contraction in man using ultrasound to image the muscle fascicles, electromyography to quantify their activity patterns, and motion capture and force measurements to measure the kinematics and kinetics of body motion.
Recent projects have explored fundamental muscle mechanics, as well as applications in wheel-chair propulsion, rehabilitation after spinal cord injury, stroke and with cerebral palsy . Additionally we have studied performance in cycling, running, rowing and skiing.
We have developed signal processing techniques to quantify the excitation patterns of different types of motor unit within muscles and the coordination patterns of activity between muscles. Additionally, we have developed imaging processing algorithms to automatically extract features of muscle fascicles from ultrasound images, to the level of transverse fascicle expansions and muscle bulging.
The physiological findings are used as inputs to drive muscle models and simulations, and we have developed and validated novel approaches to Hill-type muscle modelling of force from single muscles, and incorporated such models into musculoskeletal simulations of human movement. Additionally, we are currently investigating how the material properties of the muscle tissue affect the geometrical properties and forces developed by muscle by using the finite element method.
Students and researchers come to study in the lab at all stages in their training and careers. We host undergraduates looking to volunteer and gain lab experience, directed studies and honours projects, graduate students, post doctoral fellows and visiting scientists. Recent lab members have come with expertise in Kinesiology, Physiology, Physiotherapy, Engineering, Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics.
We currently work with students and collaborators across a range of institutions beyond SFU, including the Universities of Victoria, British Columbia, Manchester, Loughborough, Stuttgart, and Harvard.