Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group
Research Project: According to the US Surgeon General and the World Health Organization physical inactivity is now one of the leading causes of non-communicable disease and death. Keeping people active is therefore critical to improving health and reducing health care costs. Unfortunately, physical activity itself can be associated with a high risk of injury, causing health problems directly and preventing continued physical activity. To get people engaged in physical activity and keep them injury-free my research in the Human Performance Lab focuses on refining wearable technology to better (1) monitor and encourage physical activity, and (2) predict and prevent injury during physical activity. Through this research we aim to facilitate healthy, active, and injury-free lifestyles.
Research Project: The objectives of my project are to design and fabricate a wearable device for cyclists that:
- measures real time heart rate, velocity, and total distance traveled
- displays this information on a small screen located within the cyclist’s peripheral vision
By minimizing the cyclist’s need to look away from the road, such a display would improve safety as well as prevent the cyclist from shifting his/her aerodynamic body position, which is necessary to view currently available wrist or handlebar monitors.
Research Project: I am analyzing hip acceleration data of UC Davis distance track athletes using MatLab code to quantify ground reaction forces (GRF) and frequency of those forces. The goals are to: (1) better understand the loading these athletes experience during training and determine if there is an association between specific loading characteristics (e.g. magnitude, frequency, duration, recovery time) and certain injuries (e.g. stress fractures, tendinitis), and (2) provide training program guidance based on an individual’s running mechanics and changes in mechanics in response to training.
Research Project: Evaluating electromechanical delay (EMD) and rate of force development (RFD) as non-invasive measures of tendon stiffness.
Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
Research Project: The goals of my project are: (1) to determine if there is a difference in static, passive knee joint stiffness at a given knee angle between the joint position approached from a more flexed or more extended position, and (2) the relationship between static, passive knee joint stiffness and time.
Research Project: I am conducting research on surface electromyography (sEMG) electrodes. The objectives of this research are to: (1) compare and contrast four specific quantities (application time, total procedure cost, quality of signal, and durability of signal) associated with four surface electrode approaches (reusable, disposable, a commercial dry bar electrode, and an experimental tape model of a dry electrode), and (2) summarize these findings into a simple guide that can be used to quickly identify the best electrode approach to choose for a given application.
Research Project: I am conducting a literature review project for the purpose of determining if a threshold for spinal injury during low-speed rear-end car collisions can be identified based on specific characteristics of the crash dynamics (impact velocity, change in vehicle velocity, acceleration, etc.) and occupant (age, sex, anthropometrics, injury history, etc.).