Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility - Discovering Neuromuscular Control Mechanisms of Human Movement Patterns
The Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility (NBCF) is a center dedicated to the discovering of the neuromuscular control mechanisms of human movement patterns. The laboratory is unique in that it is dedicated to interdisciplinary research that engages in both theoretical and experimental neuromuscular control questions. The state-of-the-art NBCF is located within the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation of the College of Education at University of Nebraska at Omaha. This very large laboratory measures 110 feet by 50 feet with 20 foot high ceilings. This facility is the home to five faculty members and almost 30 junior scientists including postdoctoral fellows, predoctoral students, master's students, and undergraduates. The electrifying environment allows for development of new ideas, protocols, and even development of new technology.
The intellectual environment is stimulating. With projects that span all age groups, this facility works closely with clinicians, physicians, engineers, mathematicians, and other distinguished scientists to answer critical health-related questions. Current work is being done to advance treatment options and rehabilitation protocols in Alzheimer's disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cerebral palsy. In fact, Drs. Nick Stergiou and Reggie Harbourne have worked closely together on a project investigating early treatment options for infants at risk for cerebral palsy. This work has provided them with worldwide recognition and has challenged physical therapy dogma, opening new doors and insights into treatment protocols!
This facility is unique. Every (not an exaggeration) undergraduate that has worked in this facility has gone on to be accepted to their graduate school of choice. This ranges from medical school to physical therapy school to a multitude of other graduate programs. Several undergraduates that originally did not consider furthering their education, continue with Dr. Stergiou and complete their master's and maybe even a doctorate! The broader impacts of this facility are further noted in the community service work they provide. Their facility is open for tours and teaching opportunities. Community schools come to learn about the facility and even scientists from around the world come to Nebraska, of all places, to learn from these energetic and motivated people.
Northern Digital, Inc. believes in the work and more specifically, the individuals within this facility. This laboratory is one of the best in the world. The equipment available is unmatched, even by some of the most prominent laboratories in the world. They strive for excellence. Their 3D Investigator™ and Optotrak Certus® motion capture systems are currently being used to investigate the effects of virtual reality on stroke victims, to investigate fall risk in older adults (including very unique and awe-inspiring rehabilitation protocols for these individuals), to investigate the effect of auditory stimulation on locomotion, and many other projects. NBCF's Northern Digital Inc. motion capture systems are used in combination with an instrumented, split-belt treadmill, body weight support system, and custom virtual reality environment. Limited space available in the lab makes these motion capture systems perfect tools for this laboratory. In addition, both the 3D Investigator and Optotrak Certus can be used wirelessly. This allows the research team to attach other biological monitors without worry of cables, wires, etc. In addition, this facility boasts a Balance Manager's by Neurocom that includes the research module, wireless EMG, multiple force plates, an instrumented with force platforms stairway, and myriads of other "fun" tools. As always, this facility sets the pace in terms of intellect but also in terms of equipment.
Article courtesy of Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility.