Musculoskeletal disorders affect almost everyone at some stage in their life and the associated pain and discomfort can have an impact on how much physical activity sufferers can take part in, putting them at risk of related health problems.
We are uniquely placed within close proximity of outstanding sporting facilities and the largest athlete footfall in the country, which enables us to translate high quality research carried out on elite athletes to benefit the wider population.
Our research in this area
Improving wheelchair athletes’ performance
Research undertaken by members of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, part of the NCSEM-EM, has led to improved wheelchair configurations and enhanced training strategies for wheelchair athletes.
Academics from the NCSEM-EM, along with colleagues from Loughborough University’s Schools of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Science, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and the Design School have received a £1m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to research into smart prosthetics. There has been a number of exciting research developments in the field of bio-integrated and neural connected limb prosthetics. However, it has been shown that the range and lifetime of functionality is limited due to failures at both nerve and muscle interfaces, leading to signal loss and mechanical failure.
Our vision is to challenge the mind-set of limb prosthesis being a disparate entity, to one where it is integrated and interactive with the residual anatomy and physiology. Our envisaged prosthesis will respond to biological feedback via a tissue engineered conduit between the artificial prosthetic and remaining muscle and nerves.