Body

The Nancy W. Knowles Strength + Endurance Lab spans two floors in the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (19-20), which are connected by a therapeutic, practical and graceful flight of stairs. In this Lab patients, doctors and researchers work on the integration and processes related to how nerves and muscles function individually, as well as on how they interact with the skeletal system according to the neural signals coming from the brain and spinal cord. Applied expertise in this Lab provides the foundation for the structural, kinematic and dynamic evaluation of how patients move. The Strength + Endurance Lab has a strong biological, neural engineering and physiotherapeutic basis. Clinical trials and human-subject research focus on the facilitation of patients’ neurologic, muscle, bone and joint repair and recovery.

Body

State-of-the-art research methods and approaches in the Strength + Endurance Lab include experimental electromyography, movement analysis, kinetic analysis, biomechanics, sensor technologies, brain and/or other imaging, brain physiology, musculoskeletal physiology, experimental biologics, experimental pharmacotherapeutics, and emerging technologies and use of smart devices. 

Recent Research Projects

Research studies performed in this Lab focus on ways to improve patients' quality of life, helping them walk faster, stand longer, and reach farther.

Optical Fibers

Pressure and Muscle Force

We are developing a minimally invasive tool to measure muscle force using fiber optics.

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Collagen Cables

Skeletal Muscle Design in Animals and People

The purpose of skeletal muscle is to produce force and, ultimately, movement. As such, this highly specialized tissue has been studied extensively by bioengineers.

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By The Numbers

Patients representing many conditions and all ages will work in the Strength + Endurance Lab to improve their form and function.

  • 26K

    The total square footage of this Lab, which spans the 19th & 20th floors of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and houses patients, scientists and clinicians.

  • 15

    The number of miles of gait track that runs throughout the Strength + Endurance Lab. The staircase is also custom fit with a one-of-a-kind gait system designed to facilitate freedom while preventing falls.

  • 5

    The number of unique terrain types a patient can navigate in the Strength + Endurance Lab's obstacle course. In tackling surfaces such as simulated grass, gravel or blacktop, our patients leave this Lab ready to face the real world.