The overall goal of the proposed COBRE is to expand and develop the research capabilities and infrastructure for University of Delaware faculty in order to enable excellent multidisciplinary, collaborative research to address mechanisms of OA as well as its prevention and treatment. This approach is multi-scale in nature addressing the problem from a cellular level (Cythomechanics Core) to a larger system's scale focusing on muscle &joint function (Patient-Specific Modeling Core). There are many faculty at our institution conducting biomedical research investigating muscle and joint function in people with pathology, including OA. The majority of these researchers have expertise in specific data collection methodologies and analyses involving video-based motion capture, muscle strength testing, FES, EMG and medical imaging. Despite a broad-base of expertise, faculty tend to work, collect and analyze data in isolation. With this distributed approach it is difficult to share our collective knowledge and advance the capabilities of patient specific biomechanical modeling. The importance of making advanced tools for integrative biomechanical analyses available to clinicians (and researchers) was recently recognized by a summit panel of leading biomedical scientists (Ateshian &Friedman, 2009). This is exactly the purpose of our Core facility. The Patient-Specific Modeling Core (PSM Core) will provide researchers and clinicians state-of-the- art data acquisition and computational tools that will allow them to pose research questions they might not have been able to ask otherwise. This will advance our understanding of OA mechanisms, prevention and treatment. The PSM Core will be built around existing laboratory space and major equipment obtained with funds from COBRE I &II award. The PSM Core will be co-directed by Drs. Jill Higginson and Kurt Manal, both of whom are faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and have significant experience developing, using and managing the hardware and software tools supported by the core. The objectives of the PSM Core are to develop, maintain and support integrated methodologies and computational tools in which patient specific musculoskeletal architecture, neuromuscular control and movement patterns will be measured and modeled in a uniform and structured manner. Importantly, knowledge will be shared with investigators, students and the biomechanics community through training and outreach activities. Modeling and simulation results will be coupled with clinically meaningful output parameters to determine effectiveness of targeted interventions, and will be customized to provide subject-specific responses which may help drive future intervention approaches. The following specific aims will be achieved: 1. Enhance functionality and compatibility of existing and novel tools (motion capture, imaging and modeling) to streamline data collection and processing to extract clinically useful measures. 2. Develop and apply musculoskeletal modeling and simulation tools for COBRE projects which provide insight to muscle coordination, task specific function and tissue loading 3. Share modeling approaches to OA and clinical outcomes with the local and global community through workshops and web-based resources. With the resources made available through the PSM Core, we will assist with all aspects of motion capture and imaging acquisition including development of data processing algorithms. Our mission is to help individual COBRE project PIs address specific aims related to joint kinematics and kinetics, neuromuscular activation and timing, muscle and joint contact forces, muscle contributions to movement and coordination, and other parameters according to the needs of individual research projects. The PSM Core personnel will work closely with individual PIs to ensure that the targeted specific aims will be adequately addressed by the available methodologies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-RI-B)
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University of Delaware
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