Healthy ageing depends on identifying ways of sustaining pain-free mobility with adequate muscle strength into old age. Comparative locomotor biology of animals is fundamental to how we teach structure and function. We have sustained world-class MSK biology research over 35 years, founded on basic science of how the skeleton adapts to strain, what constrains muscle performance and how tendons contribute to athletic performance.
As outlined in REF2014 future plans, application of mathematical and physical scientific principles to model and understand the MSK tissue interactions with each other and the environment, using ever-increasingly sophisticated measurement techniques, have underpinned advances made. Translational research is strong, with innovations being transferred to the clinic for lameness diagnosis, treatments (tendon cell therapy, electrical stimulation and novel surgery for laryngeal paralysis) with novel treatments for muscle disease (gene editing), osteoporosis (partnership with Haoma Medica) and imaging cartilage defects (Raman spectroscopy) in the pipeline. Bioinspired robotics is an important translational element of the Structure and Motion Lab’s (SML) work.