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Michael W. Krzyzewski Human Performance Laboratory (K-Lab)

Dr. Louis E. DeFrate
Lab Director
lou.defrate@duke.edu

Dr. Laura S. Pietrosimone
Lab Assistant Director
laura.stanley@duke.edu

Dr. Timothy Lindsay
Lab Research Analyst
timothy.lindsay@duke.edu


K-lab overview

K-Lab is a human movement laboratory devoted to the promotion of optimal health, wellness, fitness, and performance. Research activities bring together a multidisciplinary team of scientists and practitioners to advance understanding and solve problems in the context of injury prevention, surgery, rehabilitation, and health promotion.

Research personnel include orthopaedic surgeons, biomedical engineers, kinesiologists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers. The K-Lab provides research support for the following orthopaedic subspecialties: major joint reconstruction (adult reconstruction), sports medicine, foot and ankle, and rehabilitation. The K-Lab is located at the James R. Urbaniak, MD, Sports Sciences Institute.

Research model

Research in the K-Lab examines the epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries, risk factors for injury, interventions to reduce injury risk, treat injuries, and promote sport performance. This involves:

  • Examining the effect of injury, surgery, rehabilitation, injury prevention, fatigue, and neurocognitive changes on proprioception, mechanical stability, neuromuscular control, functional joint stability, and strength
  • Examining strategies for injury surveillance, as well as predictors of injury and optimal performance
  • Designing and validating interventions with task and demand analysis
  • Injury prevention program integration and implementation

Human movement assessment

The K-Lab has many devices to measure human movement function in terms of muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, whole-body kinematics, and kinetics. These elements of physical function may be tested within a clinical or sports context. For a full listing of lab technical capabilities click here.

Analytics

The K-Lab offers full custom analytics for all research data. This involves cleaning and processing raw data for export. The data may be further prepared in Microsoft Excel, Matlab, Python, or R for eventual use in statistical software to perform hypothesis testing to answer the research question. Statistical hypothesis testing is not generally considered a part of the K-Lab service offering but data can be processed up to that point to fully describe human movement.

Current projects

  • ACL injury risk and jumping
  • Quadriceps force measurement validation
  • Spinal cord stimulation for rehabilitation in spinal cord injury
  • Functional analysis of surgical treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Ultrasound analysis of soft tissue
  • ACL injury and return to sport Wearable technology validation

Project development

As a shared resource laboratory, K-Lab standard operating procedures (SOP) may vary with the PI. The PI is responsible to develop a data management and sharing plan with the K-Lab prior to project initiation.Project development for all investigators internal and external to the K-Lab involves:

1. An initial meeting with the K-Lab director, lab analyst, and the prospective PI to discuss:

  1. Research question and specific project aims
  2. Required equipment
  3. Required expertise

2. From this meeting, it will be determined whether the K-Lab has the capabilities to fulfill project needs. Projected costs will be established and reviewed.

3. Specific protocols will then be developed for:

  • Data collection
  • Data processing
  • Data analysis/coding
  • Data transfer/storage

4. The procedures for all K-Lab projects must be approved by the K-Lab director, but the responsibility for regulatory compliance rests with each PI/entity using the K-Lab.