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Biomechanics Lab

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The MORE Foundation biomechanics lab is home to the most advanced robotic testing system for orthopedics

The OBRL(Orthopedic Biomechanics Research Lab) facility provides orthopaedic clinicians and industry collaborators, locally in the Phoenix metropolitan area and nationally, access to state-of-the-art resources and expertise for conducting biomechanical testing and laboratory based research. Research areas pursued by the highly trained scientists at the OBRL include, but are not limited to, shoulder, elbow, spine, hip and knee joints. Our primary objectives are studying the effect of various orthopaedic surgical procedures and implants such as fracture fixation plates and joint replacement devices on the musculoskeletal response and potential effects on the patient outcomes. Our translational research outcomes have immediate impact on the practice of orthopaedic surgery and patient care. The conduct of such applied biomechanical research helps improve implant design, surgical planning and patient outcomes. Our highly qualified biomechanics research staff cumulatively bring in close to 30 years of experience in the areas of orthopedic biomechanics, bio-robotics, mechanical engineering and anthropology.

We focus on testing various orthopedic devices and implants. The purpose of this biomechanics research is to improve medical hardware, surgical planning and patient outcomes by comparing different surgical approaches and reconstruction techniques. Recent studies have focused on the fixation of elbow fractures and clavicle fractures to determine the best ways to fix these common bone fractures, and the biomechanics of the shoulder to determine the ideal position and design of innovative shoulder replacements.

The MORE Foundation is a pioneer in the advanced robotic testing of joint systems. These robotic testing systems are built completely in-house by our highly skilled engineers, in partnership with physicians and anatomists. The systems use computer controlled motors to mimic muscles and move joints to simulate activities of daily living, such as eating or walking. This system allows our researchers to identify the limitations and advantages of different joint replacement devices and determine the ideal placement and construction of current and future devices. These results can then be directly translated into patients and tested in our motion analysis lab and clinical research programs to confirm the simulation results.


Lab Description


The Orthopedic Biomechanics Research Laboratory (OBRL) at the MORE Foundation is a 1300 ft2 facility which houses state-of-the-art, research grade equipment and robotic test platforms for studying the effect of various orthopedic interventions and implantable devices on musculoskeletal biomechanics and fracture fixation. The OBRL team is extremely passionate and dedicated to developing innovative and rigorous testing strategies for evaluating orthopedic devices that result in overall improved quality of life and the least risk of potential injury for patients. The OBRL research lab facilities are also utilized for educational cadaveric surgical training labs.

What's in our lab?

Infrastructure
  • 120 sq.ft walk-in freezer (-25°F), refrigerator
  • Onsite biohazard waste storage and disposal
  • Eye Wash station; Fire extinguisher
  • Instrument cleaning station
  • Dedicated stainless steel cadaver dissection table and instruments
  • Access to loading/unloading station for heavy equipment delivery and transportation
Radiography and audio-video equipment/services
  • DEXA machine (GE Hologic Discovery)
  • Mini-C Arm (Orthoscan)
  • Easy access to MRI and CT scanner within the same facility
  • Two 65” TV monitors
  • Audio-Video streaming capabilities
  • Nikon D4300 DSLR HD Camera
  • Fender speaker system with lapel microphones
Servo-hydraulic load frames

The lab houses two servo-hydraulic mechanical testing frames for conducting cadaveric bone tests: an axial-only frame and an axial-torsional frame (Shore Western Manufacturing, Inc). These frames can load the samples in tension, compression, or torsion to evaluate many mechanical properties of orthopedic implants and fixation techniques through simulation of real-life movements and stresses.

  • Uni-Axial (Tension + compression)
  • Bi-Axial (Tension-Compression + Torque)
  • 1x 2500lb load cell (Interface Inc.)
  • 1x 300 lb load cell (Interface Inc.)
Machine shop equipment
  • Miter saw
  • Band saw
  • Bench grinder
  • Drill press
  • Power tools
  • 250 piece mechanic’s tool chest
Computer peripherals and software
  • 2x dedicated desktop PCs with 27” Dual LCD screens
    • 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel I7 processors
  • Software
    • SPSS v23
    • Solidworks 2014
    • Matlab
    • LabView
Other research equipment
  • 2x Optical rigid body tracking systems (Optotrak Certus (NDI, Waterloo, CA)
    • The Optotrak Certus) motion capture system can be used in conjunction with the test frames or the robotic to quickly and accurately monitor the complex movements and fracture gapping in three dimensions under load and during movement.
  • Single and six-axis load cells:
    • 12x 150lb single axis load cells (Transducer techniques)
    • 12x 1000lb single axis load cells (Interface Inc.)
    • 1x 500lb and 1x 1000lb 6DOF load cells (AMTI)
  • Real-time PXIe based controller (National Instruments)
  • Signal conditioner and DAQ boxes (National Instruments)
Robotic Upper Extremity Controller

The MORE Foundation is a pioneer in advanced robotic testing of joint systems. These robotic testing systems are built completely in-house by our highly skilled engineers, in partnership with physicians and anatomists. The systems use computer controlled actuators to mimic physiologic muscular response of up to 12 muscles and move upper extremity joints (shoulder, elbow) to simulate activities of daily living, such as abduction-adduction, flexion-extension etc. This system allows researchers to identify the limitations and advantages of different joint replacement devices and determine the ideal placement and construction of current and future devices. It was initially created to investigate the change in muscle loading and joint reaction forces after severe rotator cuff tears and shoulder replacement prostheses but has since been modified to test elbow joint motion. The results obtained from such in-vitro simulations can then be directly translated into patients and tested in our motion analysis lab and clinical research programs to confirm the simulation results.

Want to perform a study in our lab?

Let us know how we can help. Reach out today and learn more!

Disclosure

Biomechanics research funding has been provided by many of the top orthopedic manufacturers and service providers, including:
Stryker, Depuy-Mitek, Arthrex, Exactech, Smith & Nephew, Innovision.

“I’ve worked with MORE Foundation research team on numerous projects over the past decade and have continually been impressed by the technical knowledge, creativity, and scientific integrity of the researchers throughout each phase of a study, from protocol and fixture development to publication. MORE has been a good research partner for myself and for my company and I would recommend them to anyone in orthopedics”

- Chris Roche, Director of Engineering, Exactech, FL