Accident and Emergency (A&E)

Active research collaboration with the A&E Department at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee is currently focussed on reducing the risk of serious injury of victims in road traffic accidents (RTA) by simulating an accident within the facilities at IMAR .

In RTA, one of the most important jobs of the paramedics is to immobilise victims and extricate them from vehicles with minimum movement of the head and neck, otherwise serious injury leading to paralysis may occur. Movement of simulated victims from a car is tracked by special high-tech 3D infra-red cameras evaluating various techniques for quick and safe extrication.

A recent increase in injured children using domestic trampolines has led to a joint collaborative initiative between ourselves and the A&E Department to biomechanically develop a computational model to investigate the causes of injury. The simulation demonstrated that when two masses bounce out of phase on a trampoline, a transfer of kinetic energy from the larger mass (parent) to the lower mass (child) is likely to occur. This transfer of energy is associated with forces large enough to break bones.

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

ACSM is the global leader in presenting, promoting and encouraging research, networking and delivery of continuing professional development among members and professionals interested in the field of sports medicine and exercise science. Students are encouraged to take advantage of student membership to gain access to learning materials, latest research and support concerning sports and exercise medicine.

The recent global policy initiative by ACSM, Exercise is Medicine™ is a central principle of the Sports Medicine Masters Course. The department holds the status of lead member of the Exercise is Medicine Network in the UK.

Through its continuing close association with the ACSM we offer the opportunity to deliver workshops and mentoring of ACSM learning modules which provide excellent and affordable CPD in the following areas and specialities whilst offering the opportunity for large volumes of students. Additionally the ACSM modules, which are already internationally accredited, will afford opportunities and a pathway through Application of Prior Learning (APL) for a wide range of students to undertake ultimately the MSc programme if they so choose.

British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM)

Our association with BASEM strengthens, promotes and encourages training programmes ensuring recognition of those with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of all sports injuries and in the design and management of exercise of those with other illnesses. This includes the benefits of exercise in depression, cardiovascular disease and diabetes involving advice on what type of exercise, how much and how often. BASEM promotes our sports medicine courses and our association ensures the aims and objectives of the BASEM are promoted and encouraged to our students. BASEM courses can complement and augment knowledge achieved on the MSc in Sports and Biomechanical Medicine with individual objectives of undertaking the FSEM qualification. We have common aims and objectives in delivering injury prevention strategies and overall health promotion within the community and specialist groups, where the Degree is part of the training of this new speciality and the education of the nation’s exercise professionals, therapists and colleagues in the medical professions.

Canskate Designs

We have developed an ice skate which reduces the risk of injury during training for elite figure skaters. The design, which incorporates a novel mechanism to reduce ankle and knee joint loading, is currently under evaluation with professional skating coaches and elite level figure skaters. Based upon the success of this initial prototype we have designed a second more sophisticated device which is currently under patent application.

Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification

The Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID), led by the star of the BBC Cold Cases series Professor Sue Black, houses the most experienced staff in the UK in the fields of human identification, forensic anthropology, craniofacial identification and the study of the human body. The latter has a direct link with the work conducted at Orthopaedics  and hence, the excellent facilities and expertise at both IMAR and CAHID have joined forces to unveil the mystery surrounding the effect of growth plate and sustained training in young football players. This research could not have been possible without the collaboration and support from Rangers Football Club, the University of Dundee Institute of Sports and Exercise and the NHS Medical Physics Department.

Chronic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team

There are many adult conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis that affect functional ability and performance. Motion analysis has the potential to improve the quality of life of such patients. Sometimes the interventions suggested from an analysis are very small (e.g. fine tuning an orthosis) but the impact and benefits to the individual can be huge.

CMAS - Clinical Movement Analysis Society of UK and Ireland

CMAS is involved with the detailed analysis of human gait and more recently the analysis of the motion of the upper trunk and arms. The society was formed to encourage professional interaction, develop and monitor professional standards and training and to stimulate and advance scientific knowledge in the fields of clinical motion analysis. The biomechanics of human movement has attracted interest from the earliest days of science and medicine. Movement analysis began with clinical observation of patterns of movement then progressed to video recording allowing movement to be viewed repeatedly and in slow motion. Today, technology allows the detailed acquisition of 3D motion and force data which allows objective measures to be made. Movement analysis has many applications including sports science, medical research and the clinical management of patients with gait disorders.

Sheila Gibbs, Consultant Clinical Scientist at the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research was elected as Chair of CMAS in March 2012 for two years.

IMAR hosted the annual CMAS annual scientific meeting and AGM in 2010. This was a very successful meeting held at Discovery point on 29th and 30th March.

Community Paediatric Physiotherapy Team

The motion analysis team and community paediatric physiotherapy team work very closely with children who have movement disorders such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida. There is no doubt that these collaborations have vastly improved the long-term management of these children who have conditions that change their functional ability as they grow. It is still not possible to predict long-term outcomes for these children but improved management throughout their growth has beneficial effects for the rest of their lives.

Department for Ageing and Health

The Department for Ageing and Health asked us to help investigate whether Low vitamin K levels have been linked to stiff arteries, which in turn may cause high blood pressure and vascular disease, especially in the elderly population. We are jointly examining the effect of oral vitamin K supplementation in patients aged 70 and over with hypertension, type 2 diabetes or suffering from a previous vascular event. We are investigating whether giving vitamin K improves arterial stiffness, markers of vascular health, inflammation and physical function.

Edinburgh University and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

The department has collaborated with orthopaedic surgeons from Edinburgh University and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary  to develop an animal model of scoliosis that will enable novel orthopaedic implants to be evaluated. This collaboration has resulted in grant funding by the Medical Research Council. Currently we are using the model to evaluate a prototype spinal implant and associated surgical instrumentation that we have developed in collaboration with our Edinburgh colleagues.

ESMAC (European Society of Movement Analysis for Adults and Children)

The purpose of ESMAC is to stimulate and advance scientific knowledge, professional interaction and the exchange of ideas among society members relating to movement analysis in adults and children in clinical and research settings. There are several regional and international organisations within Europe who have a significant general interest in either biomechanics or clinical assessment of function. ESMAC is a forum where biomechanical, clinical and other issues relating specifically to the study of human movement can be discussed in detail amongst all the interested professionals. The Society was founded in 1992 in Oswestry, UK. The Society holds an annual scientific meeting which is normally preceded by an instructional course for gait analysis.

Orthotics and Prosthetics

Dundee is one of the very few cities in the UK to have its orthotic and prosthetic services delivered in-house at the Tayside Rehabilitation & Engineering Services at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School. The association of the Orthotic Services with our university facilities has allowed for a close working relationship in teaching, research and clinical services using the latest high-tech biomechanical facilities at IMAR. Many projects are run on a yearly basis to optimise delivery as well as cost-effectiveness of products.

Pain Services

Motion analysis has been used in conjunction with the chronic pain service at Ninewells Hospital, Dudnee, to optimise the intrathecal dose of Baclofen (muscle relaxer). Spasticity can be a major contributor to chronic pain in conditions such as multiple sclerosis. However, in such conditions there is a balance between reducing the spasticity and muscle weakness. Some patients rely on the spasticity to walk and 3D motion analysis was able to determine the dose at which gait function was optimum for individual patients.

Queen Margaret University

The extensive facilities at IMAR to assess gait, foot pressure analysis and biomechanics have led to a close research working relationship with the Podiatry Unit at Queen Margaret University in evaluating diabetic feet and blood flow in collaboration with the Vascular Unit (Dr Faisel Khan) and the Diabetic Centre (Professor Graham Leese) at Ninewells Hospital & Medical School.

Rangers Football Club - Murray Park

Rangers Football Club and their Youth Academy at Murray Park are major collaborators in allowing us access to their young and adult players for biomechanical assessment and foot pressure analysis. The scientific literature is pretty weak on such information on young footballers and we are currently on year three of this study assessing the young players as they progress and develop through their careers. This longitudinal study is unique and is hoped to yield key scientific information and at the same time provide baseline clinical information for the players. This study would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of the staff and players at Rangers.

School of Art and Design - animation of materials

Recent approaches from our colleagues at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art have intrigued us to say the least. Our collaboration is focussed on exploring new avenues for potential research in animation of materials, choreography and dancing in order to create a new domain of scientific enquiry in Motion Analytics.

Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) - Forensic Department

This was a joint project with SPSA to provide information on the blood splatter profiles when an assailant kicks or jumps on a victim. A custom-made instrument was manufactured at the police forensic laboratories to provide a repeatable kicking force. To verify the correct operation of the ‘kicking’ instrument IMAR designed a stand to allow a force platform to be mounted vertically. Tests were then carried out in IMAR’s laboratory to verify the repeatability of the kick force and provide calibration information. A standard positioned force plate was also used to verify and provide calibration information on a second ‘stamping instrument’. The final trials performed using pig tissue and horse blood were performed at the SPSA forensic laboratories in Dundee.