The effect of wrist angle on grip force in TBI and stroke populations

K. Ustinova, J. Langenderfer, N. Balendra

The objective of this study is to validate a custom-built manipulandum device, which was developed to facilitate grasp and release in individuals with motor impairments affecting the finger and wrist complex. The device is being used to determine the most optimal angular position of the hand for facilitation (not for substitution!) of grasp and release in individuals with different severity of muscle spasticity and weakness after acquired brain injury (e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury).

Hammer Handle Device


The effect of hammer handle length and mass on upper extremity joint loadings

N. Balendra, J. Langenderfer

Although not as common as activities of daily living, hammering is a frequently occurring manual task which alters loads applied to the joints and tissues of the upper-extremity.  In some manual labor professions, hammering is the most common task performed, yet estimates of the internal loads applied to upper extremity joints resulting from the hammer are notably absent from the current scientific literature.  The goal of this study is to understand how hammer usage affects the intersegmental forces and moments for the wrist, elbow, and shoulder when striking common nails.  The upper extremity model has been developed in OpenSim and subject testing is imminent.

Hand Making A Fist  Markers Locomotor Assembly



Longitudinal adaptations in locomotor strategies for infants learning to walk independently

J. Sansom

Investigate the real-time adaptions in gait made by infants while wearing a lycra garment versus second diaper as they progress from begin walking with support to skilled, independent walkers. 

Baby Gait Markers   Baby Gait Markers

Baby Gait Markers  Baby Gait Markers



Balance characteristics of "Boarders" and individuals with low back pain

J.Sansom, K.Lomond

Examine and compare the adaptive balance and motor control strategies used by individuals who regularly participate in board sports and individuals with low back pain under varying sensory conditions. This study is ongoing, if interested in participating, please contact Dr. Sansom sanso1jk@cmich.edu.

Boarder Markers



The Effect of Grip Force on Postural Control During Ambulation

K. Ustinova, J. Langenderfer, N. Balendra

Drs. Ksenia Ustinova, Joe Langenderfer, and Nilanthy Balendra investigate movement decomposition and reciprocal arm-leg coordination during walking with and without an assistive device in patients with traumatic brain injury. As an assistive device, participants hold a 500 g stick (20cm x 4cm x 4cm) containing a force transducer measuring amount of grip forces applied. 

500g Stick  Patient markers



A comparison of postural stability in subjects with and without spinal disorders

P. Sung, K. Ustinova, J. Langenderfer, JT Zipple, N. Balendra

The positional-dependent spinal loading is important in relation to the center of pressure from the ground for effective rehabilitation intervention and postural strategies. The understanding of spinal movement patterns needs to be clarified in order to understand the relationship between kinematic and kinetic changes in clinical application. The purpose of this study is to provide rationale for postural stability during dynamic movement patterns. The integrated data from the motion capture system will be introduced to evaluate postural sway as a function of the lower limbs and trunk. The outcome measurements will be included in the one leg-standing test, ActiveStep┬« treadmill walking, electromyography and other various dynamic stability indices. Overall, the primary research focuses on the mechanisms of chronic low back pain, neck dysfunction, posture, balance and non-operative spine care and its clinical application to neuromuscular control. This study is ongoing, if interested in participating, please contact Dr. Sung sung1p@cmich.edu.



Development of 3D immersive video game to improve arm-postural coordination in patients with TBI

K. Ustinova, J. Perkins

Drs. Ksenia Ustinova and Jan Perkins applied game-based virtual reality therapy to correct postural and coordination abnormalities in individuals with traumatic brain injury. The therapy consisted of a series of immersive virtual reality games and scenarios for retraining whole body coordination, including arm coordination, posture, and gait. The games were delivered with the Kinect Motion sensor (Microsoft, Inc) and projected onto an 82-inch screen. Following therapy, most participants improved their static and dynamic postural stability, gait and arm movements. These effects persisted over the retention interval. The research project was sponsored by the US Department of Defense, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

Virtual Reality Therapy