Biomechanics in Action

Biomechanical Imaging and Material Testing

Some biomechanists study the individual components of a biological system to understand more about movement capabilities. These scientists examine topics such as the maximum forces that muscles can produce, the stiffness in soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons, and how bones respond to loading. Understanding the properties of the materials that make up the…
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Clinical Biomechanics

One major area that clinical biomechanists investigate is injuries. A major research topic in this area is the difference between barefoot and shod (wearing shoes) running. Here are two videos showing how a person’s foot makes contact when they are wearing shoes or not. The graphs show the difference in the forces beneath the runner’s…
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Sport Biomechanics

Biomechanics can help us understand mechanical factors from different sports movements.  Here’s a video of a baseball player having his swing analyzed. The movement is recorded by a motion capture system. Data are analyzed using a 3D model with specialized software. Here’s a screen capture of the 3D model of our baseball player. Check out…
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Animal Biomechanics

Force platforms can be used to measure ground forces in animal locomotion. Here we see one of our furry friends with reflective markers walking over a force platform to assess his gait mechanics. Researchers at Vanderbilt University invented prosthetics for some wonderful canines. Check out this video.

Biomechanical Models

Biomechanists use musculo-skeletal models to understand human movement. This knee-joint model is used to understand how the knee truly moves and how the knee changes with injury or disease – courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory. Here’s a model that includes the muscles and other soft tissue structures surrounding the knee. Here’s…
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