Characterization and validation of a split belt treadmill for measuring hindlimb ground-reaction forces in able-bodied and spinalized felines.
BACKGROUND: The measurement of ground reaction forces (GRFs) in animals trained to locomote on a treadmill after spinal cord injury (SCI) could prove valuable for evaluating training outcomes; however, quantitative measures of the GRFs in spinal felines are limited.
NEW METHOD: A split belt treadmill was designed and constructed to measure the GRFs of feline hindlimbs during stepping. The treadmill consists of two independent treadmill assemblies, each mounted on a force plate. The design allows measurements of the vertical (F
RESULTS: Static and dynamic noise tests revealed little to no noise at frequencies below 6Hz. Validation of the force plate measurements with a hand-held force sensor force showed good agreement between the two force readings. Peak normalized (to body mass) vertical GRFs for intact cats were 4.89±0.85N/kg for the left hindlimb and 4.79±0.97N/kg for the right. In comparison, trained spinalized cats peak normalized vertical GRFs were 2.20±0.94N/kg for the left hindlimb and 2.85±0.99N/kg for the right.
COMPARISON WITH OTHER EXISTING METHODS: Previous methods of measuring GRFs used stationary single force plates or treadmill mounted to single force plate. Using independent treadmills for each hindlimb allows measurement of the individual hindlimb's GRFs in spinalized cats following body-weight supported treadmill training.
CONCLUSIONS: The split belt force treadmill enables the simultaneous recording of ground-reaction forces for both hindlimbs in cats prior to spinalization, and following spinalization and body-weight-supported treadmill training (BWST).
Published In/Presented At
Dimiskovski, M., Scheinfield, R., Higgin, D., Krupka, A., & Lemay, M. A. (2017). Characterization and validation of a split belt treadmill for measuring hindlimb ground-reaction forces in able-bodied and spinalized felines. Journal of neuroscience methods, 278, 65–75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2017.01.002
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Family Medicine