The Advanced Biomechanical Laboratory for Reduction and Rehabilitation (IRR Laboratory) is a state-of-the-art laboratory facility at the University of Maine which focuses on injury reduction, injury stabilization, and injury rehabilitation by using advanced analysis and design techniques in conjunction with advanced materials. At the onset, we will focus primarily on products that result in the reduction of injury due to head impact, injury stabilization and vibration mitigation during emergency evacuation, and the development of assistive fitness and rehabilitation equipment for persons suffering from injury related disabilities. Injury intervention can reduce overall health care costs by avoiding injury in the first place or by lessening the injury, thereby reducing the time of hospitalization and required care. Effective strategies for rehabilitation and fitness improvement are also an essential part of an overall health care plan for injured or disabled persons. To address these urgent and diverse needs we propose to assemble a research facility called “Biomechanics Laboratory for Injury Reduction and Rehabilitation” at the University of Maine. It is envisioned that the proposed laboratory will allow the research team to readily and effectively design and develop new products and conduct testing in this focused area of biomechanics.
The research team is comprised of professionals with diverse backgrounds from academia, industry and government assembled to effectively and efficiently develop innovative products with commercial potential. The industry collaborators include Alba-Technic, LLC of Arundel Maine who will be leading the commercialization efforts. Other partners are Rynel, Lifeflight of Maine and Astos Innovations. Researchers at the University of Maine include faculty from the Mechanical Engineering Department, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. We are also working with the Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Excellence in Tampa, Florida and the Geriatric Medical Center at UCLA. The faculty along with the student research assistants will perform design, development and advanced mechanical analysis and testing of the products.
Image Description: headgear testing dummy