This past spring 2020, student researchers (Shannon Toy, Tiffany Lubrino, Armond Gray, CJ De Leon, Amir Memarian, and Mimi Manatad) explored the effects of single leg fatigue on gait and balance in an original research project. Despite COVID-19 ending the experiments early March, the students continued their research remotely and collaborated with one another. Under the mentoring of graduate research assistants, Christopher Hoang and Michael Shiraishi, the students processed and analyzed their data (motion capture and electromyography (EMG) signals). They presented their findings at the virtual Student Symposium 2020 in May and submitted 3 conference papers to Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) 2020.
Chapman Student Symposium 2020 Day 1 – Poster presenters: CJ De Leon, Armond Gray, and Tiffany Lubrino
Chapman Student Symposium 2020 Day 2 – Oral Presenter: Shannon Toy
“I was interested in research ever since I was a Freshman at Chapman. When I attended the Crean Research night at the start of my sophomore year, I met the Gait Research Rehabilitation Team: Chris, Mikey, and Dr. Soangra. I was so interested and engaged about the work they have done in the GRAIL and the motion capture lab, especially towards new improvements for Physical Therapy technology of the future.
Throughout the year, it was a new learning experience going through all of the steps of starting a new research project. I enjoyed getting to know not only getting to know how to use the various systems such as Biodex, Vicon, and the two labs: the GRAIL lab and the motion capture lab. I enjoyed going through this whole research experience with my research partners: Shannon and Armond, since the beginning of the fall semester and CJ, Mimi, and Amir in the spring. I learned the basics of data processing and the importance of this fatigue study through the help and Chris and Mikey, and I was very grateful for all the skills I learned from them.
I was surprised at how far we went through the whole experiment despite the closure of our data collection so soon. Even though we only had data for eight subjects out of the fifteen subjects expected to receive data from, we managed to analyze unexpected and significant results. I learned about the gait parameters of the experiment for my data analysis. When a person is fatigued, their initial base of support is altered. Therefore, more energy expenditure is needed to bring the individual back to their normal gait cycle. A person in a state of fatigue would have a fluctuating vertical center of mass, and the swing time will also increase.
Through the research I have done with the Gait Research Rehabilitation Team, this has inspired me to continue doing research throughout my undergraduate journey here at Chapman. I hope with what the work we conduct through this experiment will impact the future of physical therapy advancement and ultimately reach the goal of finding a complete understanding of fatigue. “
– Tiffany Lubrino, 2020