In keeping with its high research standing the medical engineering research team has excellent state-of-the-art experimental facilities. These include: a tissue characterization laboratory; a human movement laboratory; a prosthetic joint laboratory; and a biophysics and clinical signals laboratory.
- The tissue characterization laboratory houses a suite of atomic force microscopes, a dynamic nanoindentation system, dynamic mechanical testing, rheological testing and cell culture facilities; which enables the structure and behaviour of tissues and biomaterials to be analysed and characterized at scales from isolated molecules to complete structures. This enables the physical and biological performance of tissues and implants to be better understood.
- The human movement laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility, which enables the gait and movement of patients to be analysed in great detail. In particular, the laboratory incorporates a motion capture facility and biomechanically modelling suite.
- The prosthetic joint laboratory contains several state-of-the-art test machines, including a friction simulator, for evaluating the performance of artificial hip and knee joints. This equipment is frequently used by industrial organisations to evaluate their products.
- The biophysics and clinical signals laboratory has world-class facilities for computational biology and the mathematical modelling of biofluids. It is used for a wide variety of mathematical and computational projects, ranging from genomic processing and epidemiological modelling, to evaluating the fluid biomechanics of the intracranial space.
Atomic force microscopy suite (above) in the materials characterisation laboratory. This is used for investigating the structure and nanomechanics of implant materials and tissues such as cartilage, tendon, bone and skin.
State of the art dynamic mechanical system (above), used for analysing the viscoelastic properties of tissues and biomaterials, as well as mechanically stimulating tissue engineered constructs.
Friction simulator (above) used for testing of artificial hip and knee joints in the medical engineering laboratory.
The stages used in motion capture and biomechanical modeling (above).
Inverse dynamics is the process by which moments of force are indirectly determined from kinematics and inertial properties of moving segments. During gait the forces from the ground can be measured using a force platform embedded in the floor. These are combined with the kinematics (and inertial properties) to yield the net joint moments. Such data provide a means to evaluate the relative efforts at different joints.