Humanitas is a highly-specialised hospital, research and teaching center, which hosts Humanitas University, an academic institute dedicated to medical sciences. The aim of Humanitas is to promote high quality clinical, scientific and didactic activities, tuned with an international context and modern technologies.
The hospital was founded in 1996 and is located in Milan (Italy). It is the leader of a group of seven Italian hospitals. Out of the 750 beds present in Humanitas hospital in Rozzano, 100 are dedicated to musculoskeletal, neuro and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Regarding Humanitas University, it is attended by students of the Medical, Nursing and Physiotherapy schools, who are inserted into an environment, able to foster close integration between clinical, research and education activities.
The Movement Analysis and Rehabilitation Laboratory (MARL) started its activities in January 2017, following the development of the physiotherapy discipline promoted by Humanitas. Just a few months before, the Humanitas University School of Physiotherapy and the Humanitas Hospital Physiotherapy Unit were instituted.
Being a component of the Humanitas Physiotherapy area MARL works in synergy with clinical and research activities and meets clinical and didactic needs arising from Hospital and University. Particularly, in the clinical environment, the collaboration with the Departments of Rehabilitation, Orthopedics and Neurology allows for the development of research lines to be integrated with the needs of these Departments. Similarly, MARL supports didactic activities such as the teaching of kinesiology of the School of Physiotherapy. Indeed, analyzing pathologic movement approaches through a kinesiology approach before and after physiotherapy, is the core of MARL activities. Finally, MARL has the ambition to contribute to the comprehension of motor control mechanisms, through the study of coordination between agonist and postural components of movement or between associated voluntary movements.
Prof. Roberto Gatti, PT
Head of the Physiotherapy Unit and Director of the School of Physiotherapy
Eng. Roberta Furone
PT. Federico Temporiti
At present (November 2017) the core activity of MARL analyses motor control of joints through a biomechanics approach, in collaboration with the Orthopedics Units of Humanitas hospital dedicated to shoulder, hip and knee surgery.
Dispersion of the Finite Helical Axis of the upper limb in subjects of different ages.
The articular complex of the shoulder is composed of different joints without strong congruence surfaces. This is the cause (together with variability in muscular activations) of a continuous displacement of the shoulder rotation centre during motion. Biomechanics introduces the concept of Finite Helical Axis (FHA), in order to describe and estimate the displacement of the rotation centre. FHAs represent instantaneous rotation axes around which movements take place and are independent of the number of joints that contributes to produce movement. Moreover, they are a synthetic kinematic index and cannot be located in a precise anatomical point. Specific algorithms for the analysis of the upper limbs kinematics data, obtained through MARL instrumentation, are used to reconstruct FHAs’ behavior in the shoulder.
The current protocol is an observational cross-sectional study and involves 40 healthy subjects: 20 aged from 20 to 30 years and 20 aged 65 years or older. The collection of these data could also constitute normative data in future studies on FHAs’ behavior in presence of shoulder pathologies or after shoulder surgery.
The work is carried out in collaboration with the Orthopedic Unit of Shoulder Surgery of the Humanitas Hospitals and the Rehabilitation Research Laboratory of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI).
Functional recovery after unilateral or bilateral total hip arthroplasty
Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) is an effective and resolute treatment for a number of diseases associated with the coxofemoral joint. The aim of the surgery is not only to eliminate pain but also to return to normal activities and improve quality of life in operated subjects. After monolateral THA, especially in the first period after surgery, the execution of normal activities can be reached by adaptive mechanisms of the non-affected limb. Bilateral THA does not allow these adaptive mechanisms, since in this condition, the recovery mechanisms of the operated limbs are more efficient. The object of the study is to satisfy this clinical point, studying young and elderly subjects, after monolateral or bilateral THA. The tests applied in the study involve stabilometry and gait analysis, as well as clinical outcome measures. Tests are carried out the day before and then three, seven and forty days after surgery.
Other activities starting in MARL, involve the inertial sensor BTs G-Walk in order to improve the calculation of the Centre of Mass (COM) from the acceleration signal through an algorithm, with the collaboration of BTS SpA. The inertial sensor, thanks to its ease of use, is also applied in clinical studies of neurologic and orthopedics rehabilitation.
MARL improves the technological portfolio of the Scientific Institute Humanitas, giving researchers the opportunity to carry out research in rehabilitation, physiology and physiopathology of motor function.
This kind of approach requires a continuous interfacing between MARL and BTS, in order to adapt the laboratory setting on the basis of the undertaken studies, and promote synergies between clinicians, technologies and engineering.