Motion Analysis Research Center

The Motion Analysis Research Center (MARC) is a premier, interdisciplinary laboratory created in 2013 for students and faculty to collaborate on evaluation and research related to human motion, kinesiology, sports medicine, and rehabilitation.  

Evidence-Based Education 

The MARC is a state-of-the-art research and teaching facility offering immersive and dynamic learning experiences for students in kinesiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, podiatric medicine, physician assistant, and nursing programs at Samuel Merritt University. 

Students, faculty, and health care professionals can study biomechanics, balance, gait, upper and lower body movement, and the effect of athletic training, clinical intervention methods, and wearable technology—valuable evidence-based findings that can then be applied to client services and patient care. 

The MARC also allows students and faculty to work side-by-side on significant research initiatives and clinical trials to find solutions to movement challenges impacting people’s lives. 

What Happens at the MARC?

Each year, students and faculty members team up to learn, discover, and share findings related to human motion, many of which could lead to improving the quality of life for those with movement disorders. Below are a few examples of recent projects and studies.

  • Maximalist Shoes — Podiatric faculty research studies of highly-cushioned, maximalist shoes. One SMU-funded study measured the walking and running of 20 subjects, while an industry-funded study compared two different models of maximalist shoes (neutral vs. motion control) recruited nearly 40 subjects. These studies included 3D dynamic gait analysis and in-shoe pressure mapping profiles.
  • Influence of Speed and Incline on Walking — Control of balance during dynamic activities like walking is crucial and particularly challenging for persons with disabilities. Faculty from the MARC and Physical Therapy (PT) are conducting a study of treadmill walking at different speeds and inclines to understand how people adapt to these conditions. Results including interesting findings related to margin of stability, work done during push off, and mechanical energy generation, absorption, and transfer amongst segments.
  • Three-dimensional Kinematic Analysis of Circus Arts Performers —  A joint MARC-PT project where 14 highly-skilled aerial artists performed inversion maneuvers on hoop, trapeze, silks, and rope.  Their motion was captured using a 15 inertial monitoring unit (IMU) system.  The next phase of this research program will add electromyography (EMG) to better understand how elite artists  perform and how injuries may be prevented.
  • ACL Injury Prevention—A joint University of California Berkeley-SMU project supervised by MARC and UCB faculty and which includes three M.Eng. capstone students.  This initial phase study intends to determine if ACL kinematics can be modeled using 3D motion capture data.  Future studies will include modeling ligament forces and the potential of custom orthotics to reduce the risk of ACL non-contact injuries in young, female athletes.

MARC researchers also partner with other academic institutions and medical facilities.

  • University of California Berkeley/UC San Francisco's Ergonomic Research and Graduate Training Program—Expanding research capabilities in occupational and environmental health
  • University of California Berkeley College of Engineering - Master's of Engineering Capstone Industry Partner

MARC Tools and Technology

MARC is well-equipped and continually updated with the high-tech tools needed to analyze human movement. Current inventory includes:

  • Motion Analysis Corporation 12 Kestrel Camera Motion Capture System, featuring Cortex software
  • Movella MVN Analyze Inertial Monitoring Units (IMUs) for camera-free, full-body 3D motion capture
  • StretchSense Premium hand motion capture gloves
  • C-Motion Visual 3D, advanced research software for biomechanical analysis of 3D motion capture data
  • AMTI Floor-Mounted Force Platforms (x 6)
  • AMTI Instrumented Treadmill with tandem force platforms
  • Delsys Trigno and Avanti Wireless Electromyography (EMG) Systems (32-channels)
  • Novel EMED and PEDAR Pressure Mapping Systems
  • Tekscan F-Scan Pressure Mapping System
  • Protokinetics Zeno Gait Walkway
  • Natus Smart Equitest Balance Manager
  • Cosmed K5 Wearable Metabolic Testing System
  • NexGen Ergonomics Lumbar Motion Monitor
  • Aretech Zero-G Passive Gait Training System
  • Biodex System 4 Pro Isokinetic Dynamometer

How to find the MARC

400 Hawthorne Avenue, Suite 101, Oakland, CA 94609

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