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Queen’s University: Using LineUP to Better Understand Human Mobility

At the Queen’s University Human Mobility Research Lab, they’re studying some important and fundamental questions – how does the human body work? What goes wrong, and why?

And CurveBeam is helping provide answers.

The lab uses the CurveBeam LineUp, a weight bearing extremity CT imaging system providing bilateral, 3D images of the lower extremities.


“The LineUP – it’s actually exploding in the research world, especially the foot and the knee” said Michael Rainbow, Assistant Professor at Queens University. “(By) being able to take 3D images while somebody’s loaded, we’re finding that, when you’re loaded versus unloaded, your biomechanics completely change.”

With these capabilities, bone position and other datapoints can be matched to markers placed on subjects, helping provide the Queens University team with an enhanced look at exactly how those subjects perform dynamic tasks – and the musculoskeletal impacts that follow.

The capabilities of the LineUP supplement the images provided by a biplanar X-Ray, giving the researchers higher resolution snapshots of exactly what the subject’s frame is experiencing while bearing weight.

The LineUP also provides a lower dose of radiation than traditional clinical CT scanners, allowing for progress to take place without excessive and unnecessary risk and for more trials to be conducted that will provide a wider, more thorough look at the team’s results.

Specifically, the team has recently worked on a study with shoe manufacturer New Balance about the impact of one of the brand’s shoes and with a partner pedorthist to study the impact of a new orthotic designed for patients with plantar fasciitis.

“I think (by) imaging the patient in the LineUP with an orthotic, perhaps, we could see exactly what the biomechanics are doing in a static standing position,” said Lauren Welte, Queens University PhD student. “So, for instance, for people who are on their feet all day (or) who have foot problems, we can use those orthotics, put them in the LineUP, and then get an understanding of how their static postures are actually changing.”

To learn more about Queens University’s innovative use of the LineUP, watch this video.

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