New Tool Enhances View of Muscles
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Date posted: 29/01/2012
Posted by: Site Administration
This story is from the category
Augmenting Organics

Simon Fraser University associate professor James Wakeling is adding to the arsenal of increasingly sophisticated medical imaging tools with a new signal-processing method for viewing muscle activation details that have never been seen before.

Fascinated with the mechanics of muscle movement in people and animals, Wakeling has developed a novel method using ultrasound imaging, 3-D motion-capture technology and proprietary data-processing software to scan and capture 3-D maps of the muscle structure -- in just 90 seconds.

It's a medical-imaging breakthrough because previous methods took 15 minutes to do the job - far too long to ask people to hold a muscle contraction.

The key to the breakthrough is the way the software processes the data, says Wakeling, who teaches in SFU's department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology. He developed the software with graduate student Manku Rana.

"Now, we can get people to do muscle contractions and we can actually see how the internal structure of the muscle changes," he says.

Wakeling's goal is to improve the muscle models used in musculoskeletal simulation software that predicts how people move and the forces on their joints.

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