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:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Emergency rooms provide emergency care to stabilize critical health issues, ... with dental emergencies at risk of losing a tooth or their smiles. Dr. Marine ... Common dental emergencies include:, , Avulsed or knocked-out teeth , ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Ongoing news of the ... Care Association™ (ALCA) to conduct a survey that takes a closer look at cases ... illustrates the prevalence and causes of TBI among the aging population, and identifies the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... , ... AxoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AXGN), a leading medical technology company focused on ... year ended December 31, 2015 on Monday, February 29, 2016 after the market closes. ... following the release at 4:30 PM ET. Investors interested in participating by phone are ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... For additional information contact Phyllis Strupp 480-488-5858 , Brain improves ... The Ultimate Guide to Brain Training" by award-winning author Phyllis Strupp explains ... is March 16, 2016. A free review copy is available to the media ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... IDEX Health & Science, ... stainless steel (PLS) columns combine the strength of traditional stainless steel with the ... biological samples while operating at ultra-high pressures of 20,000 psi. The higher operating ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  The Baylor ... received an in-kind gift from ... VeinViewer® Vision vein finder for the nursing ... students as they learn how to start ... with traditional technique. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  LexisNexis® Risk ... technology, today announced the launch of LexisNexis ... solution that helps improve and optimize the quality ... of performance using severity-adjusted scores. By measuring provider ... critical solution to deliver better outcomes, improve the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016 Convergence scenarios are ... various technologies that results in diverse solutions ... opportunities create a cyclical system where technology ... the development of new technologies. ... technology convergences, which are constantly fostering new ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: