Welcome To The Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab

The general goal of our laboratory is to understand normal and pathological effects of mechanical factors on the structure and function of human tissues, with an emphasis on the musculoskeletal system.

The research conducted in the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab, under the direction of Prof. Amit Gefen, is unified under the umbrella of integrated biomechanics, and utilizes state-of-the-art experimental, analytical, and numerical simulation techniques.

Work in the laboratory has yielded fundamental information about adaptation and damage phenomena in bone and soft tissues.

Medical device related pressure ulcers

We are developing multiple physical and computer model systems to investigate the conditions and scenarios at which medical device-related pressure injuries occur. Development of such experimental and computer models is essential for creating laboratory standards for testing the safety of medical devices that contact the skin of weight-bearing organs. Based on our findings, we feel that the design of medical devices and equipment used in critical care settings should be re-visited, since currently, there appears to be no attention to the safety of use with regard to the pressure injury risk.

Mechanobiology of chronic diseases: applications to obesity and diabetes

Adipocyte fate commitment is characterized by morphological changes of fibroblastic pre-adipocyte cells, specifically the accumulation of lipid droplets (LDs) as part of the adipogenesis metabolism. LD formation indicates the production of triglycerides from glucose through an insulin-regulated glucose internalization process. Under obese conditions, adipocytes become insulin-resistant and glucose transport into the cells is impaired, resulting in Type-2 diabetes, a condition characterized by recurrent or sustained high blood glucose concentration.

Acute and overuse injuries: applications to soldier protection

Combat soldiers are being rigorously prepared to perform at extreme conditions, which expose them to various types of potentially-serious injuries. Life-threatening situations are understandable as part of combat scenarios, which motivates considerable efforts in developing guidelines and training protocols, as well as protective measures that are technologically-based (e.g. specialized clothing and footwear, protective gear and devices). These measures are all aimed at reducing the incidence of injuries and lessening their short-term and long-term effects, while minimally compromising performance in battle.

The aetiologia of chronic wounds: Cell-level, tissue-level and organ-level studies

Pressure ulcers under the bony prominences of the pelvis girdle, e.g. the ischial tuberosities and sacrum, are a common complication in patients confined to a wheelchair or bed for prolonged periods.

Patients with a spinal cord injury (SCI) or a neuromuscular disease, for example, are susceptible populations.

For a number of years now, there are hypotheses in the literature that elevated deformations in soft tissues warped between bony prominences and external support surfaces (e.g. mattress, cushion) induce cell death over time, and that muscle tissue is particularly susceptible to deformation damage.

Our research work provided convincing evidence that supports these hypotheses and in particular, it has strengthen the theory that internal tissue loads, rather than contact pressures between the body and external surfaces, should be used to predict tissue damage.