Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Richard A. Foulds

Second Advisor

William Corson Hunter

Third Advisor

Sergei Adamovich

Abstract

Whole body vibration (WBV) machines have in recent years been widely used as rehabilitation equipment. Whole body vibration has been shown to have positive effects on muscle response. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurodevelopmental condition that includes a group of non-progressive, but often changing, motor impairment syndromes arising in the early stages of human development. The aim of this project was to design a protocol and related instruments to assess the tendon reflex in response to WBV. Both a press pedal used for measuring the force exerted by the foot and a hammer used for measuring the stimulating force were designed in this study. In addition to the design of the instruments, a protocol for their use was developed in this study. The protocol was tested on a group of 7 subjects not afflicted with CP. The results show no significant change in reflex latency, electromechanical delay, EMG magnitude, nor force output from the foot. These results agree with other published studies [8]. The methods and instrumentation introduced in this project will be used in more comprehensive studies to assess the effect of WBV in CP patients.

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