Our research partnerships with UNB have contributed significantly to the development, testing, and scientific validation of our tri-compartment unloader knee brace. UNB’s Faculty of Kinesiology is a leader in health and wellness research, and houses the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, a world-renowned, multi-disciplinary research unit with a mandate to further education, research, and community service in biomedical engineering. Their focus on producing leading research and real world solutions for patients makes the IBME an ideal research partner for Spring Loaded. Furthermore, several researchers at the IBME specialize in testing exoskeletons and their impact on joint biomechanics, an area that is directly applicable to our products.
UNB is also home to the Andrew and Marjorie McCain Human Performance Lab, one of the most advanced motion analysis labs in North America. Access to this type of top class research facility for data collection, analysis, and prototype testing has been invaluable for us in testing and developing our product.
Funding from the National Science and Engineering Research Council was secured and an agreement reached with researchers at UNB’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering to carry out the project.
Preliminary findings from research being conducted at UNB showed that our Levitation knee brace enhances performance by significantly reducing factors that contribute to muscle fatigue.
A research paper (Biomechanical Study of a Tricompartmental Unloader Brace for Patellofemoral or Multi-compartment Knee Osteoarthritis) is published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. The data from the study demonstrates that the brace can significantly reduce joint loads in the patellofemoral and tibiofemoral knee compartments. It also replicates and extends the findings of Budarick et al. (2020), which demonstrated that Levitation can reduce knee joint loading to a level that would be achieved by losing 45 pounds of body weight.
By using a biomechanical model of the knee, this study demonstrated a tri-compartment unloader brace (TCU) can reduce a number of contact and ligament forces across the knee during a deep knee bend. The results replicate and extend the findings of Budarick et al. 2020, which demonstrated that a TCU can reduce knee joint loading.