Research Interests

Professor Hull directs several ongoing research programs in musculoskeletal biomechanics.

Orthopedic Biomechanics

This research program seeks to improve orthopedic healthcare in the causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and repair, and rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries to the human knee joint. In treatment and repair, we are interested to improve surgical procedures for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament, advance methods for selecting and surgically implanting meniscal allografts, and develop new surgical techniques for total knee replacement. In our research, we rely heavily on imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and roentgen stereophotogrammetry (RSA) and use these modalities in novel ways. We also develop new computational and experimental methods including techniques to create accurate 3D models of bones, to study the kinematics of the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints, and to measure loads and deformations in musculoskeletal tissues.

Biomechanics of Whole Body Movement

This research program focuses on understanding factors which affect the force developed by muscle during both voluntary and electrically stimulated contractions, developing new theoretical methods for the analysis of human movement with particular emphasis on musculoskeletal modeling and simulation, and applying these methods to determine functional roles of muscles particularly those in the leg as well as loads in individual musculoskeletal tissues. To conduct experiments, we measure reaction loads with the environment using both commercially available (e.g. force plates) and custom multi-component load sensors, measure the electromyograms of multiple muscles, and measure segment kinematics using 3D video-based motion analysis. To construct musculoskeletal models and perform simulations, we develop custom software and use commercially available state-of-the-art software.

Sports Biomechanics and Equipment Design

In this research program, we are interested to identify the biomechanical and/or physiological determinants of performance in competitive cycling events, determine the optimal equipment set up by understanding the relation between equipment set up variables (e.g. crank arm length) and performance, and advance our understanding of the etiology of overuse knee injuries in the recreational and competitive cycling population as well as create improved methods for either preventing or ameliorating these injuries. Also we are interested in structural and suspension design in off-road bicycles.

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