DeFrate Lab – Summer 2016
Our laboratory applies engineering principles to study clinically-relevant problems involving the musculoskeletal system. In particular, we evaluate in vivo biomechanics using advanced radiographic and MRI techniques, which enables us to investigate soft tissue structure, composition, and function in healthy and diseased states. We develop volumetric models of joints (including the ankle, knee, shoulder, and spine) and soft tissue structures (such as ligaments, tendons, articular cartilage, and intervertebral discs) from 3D MRI scans and use custom software to evaluate mechanical function during in vivo loading (activities of daily living, walking running, strenuous exercise, etc.). We also use optical motion analysis to capture joint-level kinematics during dynamic motions (gait, landing) and simultaneously acquire high-speed biplanar radiographs to evaluate concurrent soft tissue deformations. By combining these data with MRI sequences that non-invasively quantify tissue composition as well as local and systemic biomarkers of tissue metabolism, we can perform a full-spectrum analysis of joint biomechanical health.
203 Research Drive
DUMC Box 3093
Durham, NC 27710
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