Navigation Links
The spring in your step is more than just a good mood
Date:4/23/2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Scientists using a bionic boot found that during walking, the ankle does about three times the work for the same amount of energy compared to isolated muscles---in other words, the spring in your step is very real and helps us move efficiently.

While much has been done measuring the efficiency of individual muscles, this is the first known study to measure the energy efficiency of a body part such as the ankle, said Daniel Ferris, associate professor with the University of Michigan Division of Kinesiology and lead researcher on the project.

The results suggest manufacturers should rethink prosthesis design so the ankle part can do more of the work, said Ferris, who also holds an appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. It also sheds light on why rehabilitation and mobility is so exhausting for people with unhealthy ankles or neurologic problems.

Greg Sawicki, a graduate student working with Ferris and now at Brown University, built a bionic ankle equipped with fake muscles that mimic real muscle activity in the ankle, Ferris said.

Healthy subjects wore two of the boots, which were attached to the nervous system by electrodes. Sawicki measured the amount of oxygen consumed when walking with or without the boot and compared the two. Muscles use oxygen when they burn fuel, which means the more oxygen used the more energy expended, Ferris said.

"The ankle is incredibly efficient at working so the amount of energy you burn with the ankle is much lower than what would be predicted with just isolated muscle studies," Ferris said.

Researchers suspect this is largely because the Achilles tendon is so long and compliant, and is able to store and return energy during the stride cycle.

Amputees and people with neurologic disorders don't have the "bounce" of the stored energy in the ankle, Ferris said.

"For amputees, we need to come up with a better way for them to have a powered push off at the ankle," Ferris said.

An example of this for running is the prosthetic used by controversial Olympic hopeful Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee who wears a special curved blade called a Cheetah. As the blade compresses on strides it stores energy, which is released during push off, similar to a human ankle.

However, the Cheetah is great for sprinting but would not work for walking. The foot is on the ground too long to take advantage of the energy return during walking. The muscle and tendon act more like a catapult during walking, storing energy slowly and releasing it at just the right moment.

The next step, Ferris said, is to build a bionic hip and measure the efficiency of the hip during walking.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Bailey
baileylm@umich.edu
734-647-1848
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Alliance for Wellness ROI, Inc. Selects VitalSpring as Exclusive Technology Partner
2. Spring and Pollen Are in the Air
3. Joint Center to Focus on Issues of Health Equity During Congressional Black Caucus Spring Health Braintrust
4. Leave Bedroom Allergens High and Dry This Spring!
5. Spring Clean Your Body for the Perfect Cleanse
6. Journey Lite of Thousand Oaks Announces Special Spring Price Discount In Response to Effects of Softening Economy on Patients Pocketbooks
7. New Ten-Minute Foot Exercisers Beautify Feet for Spring and Summer Sandal Season
8. Spring Weather Brings Flea Season
9. Institute for Integrative Nutrition Provides Tips to Transition Bodies for Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Eating
10. Springer to publish the Cerebellum
11. BIO-key(R) to Sponsor and Exhibit at AABB Spring Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal ... personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems ... offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand ... project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s ... within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of ... too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the ... Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that it ... Supplier Horizon Award . One of 12 ... recognized for its support of Premier members through exceptional ... excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... recognition of our outstanding customer service from Premier," says ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, ... Canada)" report to their offering. ... essential tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure ... at surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of growth ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The Biotechnology industry might ... present great opportunities to investors. Stock-Callers.com assesses the recent ... (NYSE: XON ), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ARNA ), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... receive your complimentary trade alerts at: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: