Introducing the Orthopedics Biomechanics Laboratory (OBL)
The theme of the research conducted in this laboratory is the prevention, treatment and repair and rehabilitation of injuries to soft tissue structures primarily in the human knee. Because many such injuries occur during various sporting activities, much of the research falls under the umbrella of sports medicine.
Dr. Stephen M. Howell, an orthopedic surgeon who is affiliated with various local hospitals, co-supervises all research projects conducted in this laboratory. Because of Dr. Howell's involvement much of the research has direct clinical relevance and projects may be conducted in a clinical setting when appropriate.
Dr. Michael H. Buonocore, an associate professor of radiology at the UCDavis Medical Center, is involved with projects which require imaging modalities particularly MRI.
Ongoing Research Projects
- Mechanics of injury to the four primary ligaments which stabilize the human knee.
- Evaluation of meniscal allografts to restore normal contact pressure.
- Surgical parameters needed to restore normal knee laxity following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.
- Determination of ACL graft tension during rehabilitative exercises.
Research is sponsored by a variety of sources which include national agencies, private foundations, and corporations.
- Approximately 1100 square feet of space divided into two rooms, one for offices and computers and the other for experiments.
- Unique fully automated load application system (LAS) for human knee specimens. This apparatus is arguably the most advanced for testing knee specimens worldwide. It can measure and control both loads and displacements in all six degrees of freedom. It can also apply forces to the three major muscle groups crossing the knee. These capabilities give the LAS the versatility to be used in a broad spectrum of research projects.
- Surgical center equipped with orthopedic implements for dissecting and performing various surgical procedures on knee specimens.
- Multichannel signal conditioning for transducer signals.
- Pentium based computers for data acquisition and statistical analysis.
- Image processing computer for joint contact pressure.
- 3-D laser-based coordinate measuring system for geometric modeling of musculo-skeletal components.
- Materials testing system.
- Clinical Investigation Facility, David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, California
- This facility houses state-of-the-art equipment for biological materials characterization, animals, and surgical suites for procedures on animals.
- MRI Facility, Methodist Hospital, Sacramento, California
- This facility houses a GE Signa MRI scanning system. GE has qualified this facility as a research site which makes additional proprietary software available.