Laboratories

Laboratories of the Department of Physiotherapy

Individual and group researchers have access to sophisticated physiotherapy laboratories:

The Neuromuscular & Human performance laborator

https://www.ariel.ac.il/wp/nhpl/

Headed by Dr. Shmuel Springer 

The Motion and Gait Analysis Laboratory

Headed by Dr. Zvi Kozol 

The laboratories share the space of two rooms of 60 sqm. Research in the Biomechanical Motion Analysis Laboratory focuses on analyzing movement of the upper and lower extremities, gait, and a wide range of physical activities. The research in the Neuromuscular & Human Performance Lab focuses on two main aspects: 1. Investigating the human sensorimotor control over gait and balance. 2. Developing new techniques for application of non-invasive electrical stimulation (e.g. NMES, FES) to improve clinical practice and patient outcomes. Key elements implemented in the lab’s research are: application of principles driven by the field of sensorimotor control in the elderly and neurology research/rehab to MSK arena; integration of high-end technology in research and clinical practice; collaborations with various research groups, as well as with the medical device industry. Currently, the research group includes one Post-Doc fellow, four Master’s students, and one undergraduate research assistant.

Equipment: Qualysis optical capture system with 6 infrared cameras for 3D motion analysis. The system can capture movement at a rate of more than 200 fps and the data is processed by the Qualisys Track Manager. Delsys Tringo wireless electromyography system with 16 sensors of EMG, 3 axis accelerometers and EMGworks software.Kistler 2812A gait and balance evaluation force plate with Bioware software. F-scan foot pressure system with insoles that allows recording foot ground contact parameters such as force pressure, contact area, and spaciotemporal variables of gait. The data captured by the F-Scan, Qualysis, and Delsys systems is synchronized.

A reaching speed evaluation device which allows recording reaching speed and temporal symmetry of various reaching tasks. A professional life fitness treadmill. Three Lafayette digital dynamometers. Visual3D biomechanics analysis tool for measuring 3D movement and force data collected by the lab systems. Three Kinect II motion capture cameras with designated gait analysis SW. STMISOLA Constant current and constant voltage isolated linear Stimulator, variety of clinical ES/NMES/FES systems and oscilloscope.

Virtual reality, motor learning, and neuroplasticity lab

Headed by Dr. Orit Elion

The laboratory contains the following equipment:

  • Wii and Wii Fit systems for virtual reality
  • A laptop with the SeeMe software
  • A Virtual Interactive Shopper model
  • Kinect sensor
  • A 39-inch television including a mobile stand

These lightweight mobile systems can be used to conduct research outside the laboratory.

The lab is in the process of development and expansion.

Neurobiology of Exercise Training Laboratory

Headed by Prof. Ofira Einstien 

https://www.ariel.ac.il/wp/scnd-lab/

Research in this lab involves elucidating the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of exercise training on the nervous system. Main research interests include: exercise training and neuroinflammation, exercise training and neuroregeneration, exercise training effects on experimental autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Studies are conducted on animal models of neurological diseases and involve clinical evaluations, histopathology analysis, cell cultures, immunological assays, biochemical and molecular techniques. Currently, the research group includes three Master’s students and two undergraduate research assistants. Equipment: Two motorized treadmills for rodents, incubator, centrifuge, and dissecting microscope within the laboratory. The laboratory is equipped for invasive procedures within the institutional animal facility. In addition to all basic laboratory equipment, shared space is equipped with biological and chemical hoods, centrifuges, incubators, inverted phase contrast microscopes, cryostat, paraffin embedding center and microtome, fluorescent and light microscope with a computerized image analysis system connected by color video camera, PCR machines, real time PCR machine, spectrophotometers, temperature controlled shaker, Southern/Western/Northern gel apparatuses. A shared con-focal microscope and flow cytometry apparatus are available for use of researchers. Animal quarter is operated and maintained by Ariel University. Ariel University supplies veterinary services, physical examination, and care of all animals

Brain and Motor Behavior Laboratory

Headed by Dr. Silvi Frenkel Toledo 

Clinical neuroscience is the research focus of this lab. The main research aims are (1) to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying improvement of motor ability in healthy and motor recovery following stroke, and (2) to unravel new modes for modulating and enhancing brain plasticity to promote optimized motor ability in healthy individuals and in patients with stroke. The research in stroke patients is performed in collaboration with doctors and other researchers from the clinical field. Currently, the research group includes two Master’s students and four undergraduate research assistants.

Equipment: Soterix Medical MxN-9 HD-tES Stimulator (non-invasive brain stimulation), Soterix HD-Targets Software (a non-invasive targeting software that optimizes the electrode montage for focal brain targeting), and a Wacom Cintiq 27QHD tablet (kinematic analysis of upper limb movement).

Clinical neuroscience is the research focus of this lab. The main research aims are (1) to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying improvement of motor ability in healthy and motor recovery following stroke, and (2) to unravel new modes for modulating and enhancing brain plasticity to promote optimized motor ability in healthy individuals and in patients with stroke. The research in stroke patients is performed in collaboration with doctors and other researchers from the clinical field. Currently, the research group includes two Master’s students and four undergraduate research assistants.

Equipment: Soterix Medical MxN-9 HD-tES Stimulator (non-invasive brain stimulation), Soterix HD-Targets Software (a non-invasive targeting software that optimizes the electrode montage for focal brain targeting), and a Wacom Cintiq 27QHD tablet (kinematic analysis of upper limb movement).

Clinical field studies

Physiotherapy faculty members are also involved in research collaboration in the community.

Prof. Tamar Jacob: surveys by physiotherapy administrators and physiotherapists at a variety of medical institutions.

Prof. Meir Lotan: clinical studies at the B’nai Zion Home in Rosh HaAyin, the Even Hen School in Rosh HaAyin, the Israeli Society for Autistic Children (ALUT), the Association for Children at Risk, the Israel Elwyn Foundation in Jerusalem, Rett syndrome organizations in Israel, Holland, and Ireland.

Dr. Zvi Kozol: clinical studies at the Reuth Medical Rehabilitation Center, Loewenstein Hospital  and the IDF Air Force.

Dr. Alon Rabin: clinical studies in the Shoulder Surgery Unit of the Tel-Aviv Medical Center.

Students interested in conducting research in the community can do so with supervision by the aforementioned faculty.