AIMSS is housed within state-of-the-art facilities at the Centre for Health Research and Education (CHRE) at Sunshine Hospital, a $51.6 million development provides unprecedented opportunities for researchers from Western Health, Victoria University, and The University of Melbourne. The centre also provides training facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate doctors, and a centre for the education and training of nurses and allied health professionals.
Bone density unit
The Bone Density Unit (through Western Health and The University of Melbourne) offers diagnostic tools to support a comprehensive platform for bone health assessment including DXA (Dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry) densitometer, used primarily to evaluate bone mineral density and total body composition, and pQCT (Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography) for measuring peripheral bone mineral density, volumetric bone mineral density, plus other measures such as the stress-strain index (SSI) and the geometry of the bone. The bone density unit is available to both clinical and research patients.
The metabolic gym provides a tool for both studies into the effects of exercise on muscle function, body composition, glucose uptake and even bone density, but it also provides the opportunity to develop exercise interventions into disease states of muscle such as sarcopenia.
The metabolic gym contains a broad suite of modern resistance and cardio-training equipment.
The Western CHRE building boasts eight clinical consulting rooms facilitating the large numbers of clinical trials conducted by AIMSS and other Western Health and University staff.
AIMSS has access to state-of-the-art laboratory space within the WCHRE building including PC2 containment, cell culture, and animal holding facilities.
Marker-less motion capture systems
AIMSS features the latest technology in marker-less human motion capture and analysis. Provided by Microsoft, Kinect for Windows is based on a time-of-flight camera and can track up to 6 subjects at a time. Combined with AIMSS-developed software applications and experienced staff (ranging from Biomechanical Engineers to Physicians), this equipment allows fast and effective human motion tracking, aimed to support clinical, rehabilitative and sports analyses.
Neuromusculoskeletal Modelling facilities
AIMSS provides state-of-the-art, computer based, Musculoskeletal Modelling using OpenSim. OpenSim is a software system utilised for modeling, simulating and analysing virtual biomechanical environments. These modeling approaches are designed to enhance our understanding of a variety of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions including knee ligament injuries, brain injuries, sarcopenia, etc. Computer based models predict internal forces including ligament, muscle, and joint reaction forces that cannot be measured in vivo. The implications of this approach can be applied to clinical, surgical, engineering as well as in sport settings.
Image courtesy of Dorn, TW Schache, AG and Pandy, MG.