Gannon University’s Biomedical Engineering Program Receives $25,000 Phillips Grant
Posted: September 26, 2016
Students in Gannon University's biomedical engineering program
will soon have a powerful diagnostic tool for the analysis and
treatment of persons with gait problems.
Using funds provided by a $25,000 grant from the Dr. & Mrs.
Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust, the University will
acquire measurement instruments known as force plates.
Positioned on the ground, these instruments monitor the amount
of force applied when taking a stride and measure the effect of
environmental factors such as the stiffness of footwear and the
friction of the surface, as well as biomechanical factors such as
the speed of the movement and the stiffness of muscles. The force
plates will be integrated with motion-tracking technology,
including an electromyographer, to create a system that will enable
students and faculty to evaluate the performance of individuals
with gait problems.
Using ODIN, a software suite that can recognize and synchronize
the signal from each instrument, biomedical engineering students
and faculty can analyze and model movement deficiencies that arise
from neuro-muscular disorders such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson's
disease and stroke; as well as traumas to bones or ligaments caused
by sports-related injuries or a result of a surgical procedure.
Students in Gannon's physical therapy and occupational therapy
programs will use the data from the force plates and other
instruments to confirm the presence of specific impairments and the
impact of the prescribed treatments.
"I'm gratified that the Phillips foundation recognized the
impact their gift will have on Gannon's academic programs and the
Erie community in general," said Davide Piovesan, Ph.D., director
of the University's biomedical engineering program. "Because of
this grant, the biomedical engineering program can act as a bridge
between the data acquired and the clinical expertise of our
colleagues in the health science departments through the computer
modeling of movements."