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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Contributor
Subject
Date Range
2009 2019


This dissertation aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and drawbacks of promising fall prevention strategies in individuals with stroke by rigorously analyzing the biomechanics of laboratory falls and compensatory movements required to prevent a fall. Ankle-foot-orthoses (AFOs) and functional electrical stimulators (FESs) are commonly prescribed to treat foot drop. Despite well-established positive impacts of AFOs and FES devices on balance and gait, AFO and FES users fall at a high rate. In chapter 2 (as a preliminary study), solely mechanical impacts of a semi-rigid AFO on the compensatory stepping response of young healthy individuals following trip-like treadmill perturbations were evaluated. It …

Contributors
Nevisipour, Masood, Honeycutt, Claire, Sugar, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2019

There are many inconsistencies in the literature regarding how to estimate the Lyapunov Exponent (LyE) for gait. In the last decade, many papers have been published using Lyapunov Exponents to determine differences between young healthy and elderly adults and healthy and frail older adults. However, the differences in methodologies of data collection, input parameters, and algorithms used for the LyE calculation has led to conflicting numerical values for the literature to build upon. Without a unified methodology for calculating the LyE, researchers can only look at the trends found in studies. For instance, LyE is generally lower for young adults …

Contributors
Smith, Victoria, Lockhart, Thurmon E, Spano, Mark L, et al.
Created Date
2019

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in the older adult population with more than 27,000 fall related deaths reported every year[1]. Adults suffering from lower extremity arthritis have more than twice the likelihood of experiencing multiple falls resulting in increased fall-related injuries compared to healthy adults. People with lower extremity end-stage osteoarthritis(KOA), experience a number of fall risk factors such as knee instability, poor mobility, and knee pain/stiffness. At end-stage knee OA, the space between the bones in the joint of the knee is significantly reduced, resulting in bone to bone frictional wearing causing bone deformation. …

Contributors
Meza, Estefania, Honeycutt, Claire, Lockhart, Thurmon E, et al.
Created Date
2019

Basilisk lizards are often studied for their unique ability to run across the surface of water. Due to the complicated fluid dynamics of this process, the forces applied on the water’s surface cannot be measured using traditional methods. This thesis presents a novel technique of measuring the forces using a fluid dynamic force platform (FDFP), a light, rigid box immersed in water. This platform, along with a motion capture system, can be used to characterize the kinematics and dynamics of a basilisk lizard running on water. This could ultimately lead to robots that can run on water in a similar …

Contributors
Sweeney, Andrew Joseph, Marvi, Hamidreza, Lentink, David, et al.
Created Date
2019

Weevils are among the most diverse and evolutionarily successful animal lineages on Earth. Their success is driven in part by a structure called the rostrum, which gives weevil heads a characteristic "snout-like" appearance. Nut weevils in the genus Curculio use the rostrum to drill holes into developing fruits and nuts, wherein they deposit their eggs. During oviposition this exceedingly slender structure is bent into a straightened configuration - in some species up to 90° - but does not suffer any damage during this process. The performance of the snout is explained in terms of cuticle biomechanics and rostral curvature, as …

Contributors
Jansen, Michael Andrew, Franz, Nico M, Chawla, Nikhilesh, et al.
Created Date
2009

This thesis presents the design and testing of a soft robotic device for water utility pipeline inspection. The preliminary findings of this new approach to conventional methods of pipe inspection demonstrate that a soft inflatable robot can successfully traverse the interior space of a range of diameter pipes using pneumatic and without the need to adjust rigid, mechanical components. The robot utilizes inflatable soft actuators with an adjustable radius which, when pressurized, can provide a radial force, effectively anchoring the device in place. Additional soft inflatable actuators translate forces along the center axis of the device which creates forward locomotion …

Contributors
Adams, Wade Silas, Aukes, Daniel, Sugar, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2019

Every year, 3 million older people are treated for fall injuries, and nearly 800,000 are hospitalized, many of which due to head injuries or hip fractures. In 2015 alone, Medicare and Medicaid paid nearly 75% of the $50 Billion in medical costs generated by falls. As the US population continues to age, more adults are beginning to deal with movement related disorders, and the need to be able to detect and mitigate these risks is becoming more necessary. Classical metrics of fall risk can capture static stability, but recent advancements have yielded new metrics to analyze balance and stability during …

Contributors
Kreisler, Itai Goeta, Lockhart, Thurmon E, Tyler, William J, et al.
Created Date
2019

As the junction between the head and the trunk, the neck functions in providing head stability during behaviors like feeding to facilitating head mobility during behavior like grooming and predator vigilance. Despite its importance to these vital behaviors, its form and function remain poorly understood. Fossil hominin cervical vertebrae preserve a striking diversity in form despite the commitment to orthograde bipedality. Do these differences in cervical vertebral form correspond to functional variations among our recent ancestors? This dissertation attempts to understand 1) how does the neck function in head stability and mobility 2) how do these functions relate to cervical …

Contributors
Grider-Potter, Neysa, Kimbel, William, Raichlen, David, et al.
Created Date
2019

Injuries and death associated with fall incidences pose a significant burden to society, both in terms of human suffering and economic losses. The main aim of this dissertation is to study approaches that can reduce the risk of falls. One major subset of falls is falls due to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Freezing of gait (FOG) is a major cause of falls in this population. Therefore, a new FOG detection method using wavelet transform technique employing optimal sampling window size, update time, and sensor placements for identification of FOG events is created and validated in this dissertation. …

Contributors
Rezvanian, Saba, Lockhart, Thurmon, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2019

Individuals fluent in sign language who have at least one deaf parent are considered native signers while those with non-signing, hearing parents are non-native signers. Musculoskeletal pain from repetitive motion is more common from non-natives than natives. The goal of this study was twofold: 1) to examine differences in upper extremity (UE) biomechanical measures between natives and non-natives and 2) upon creating a composite measure of injury-risk unique to signers, to compare differences in scores between natives and non-natives. Non-natives were hypothesized to have less favorable biomechanical measures and composite injury-risk scores compared to natives. Dynamometry was used for measurement …

Contributors
Roman, Gretchen Anne, Swan, Pamela, Vidt, Meghan, et al.
Created Date
2018

Lower-limb wearable assistive robots could alter the users gait kinematics by inputting external power, which can be interpreted as mechanical perturbation to subject normal gait. The change in kinematics may affect the dynamic stability. This work attempts to understand the effects of different physical assistance from these robots on the gait dynamic stability. A knee exoskeleton and ankle assistive device (Robotic Shoe) are developed and used to provide walking assistance. The knee exoskeleton provides personalized knee joint assistive torque during the stance phase. The robotic shoe is a light-weighted mechanism that can store the potential energy at heel strike and …

Contributors
Rezayat Sorkhabadi, Seyed Mostafa, Zhang, Wenlong, Lee, Hyunglae, et al.
Created Date
2018

Adapting to one novel condition of a motor task has been shown to generalize to other naïve conditions (i.e., motor generalization). In contrast, learning one task affects the proficiency of another task that is altogether different (i.e. motor transfer). Much more is known about motor generalization than about motor transfer, despite of decades of behavioral evidence. Moreover, motor generalization is studied as a probe to understanding how movements in any novel situations are affected by previous experiences. Thus, one could assume that mechanisms underlying transfer from trained to untrained tasks may be same as the ones known to be underlying …

Contributors
Sohani, Priyanka, Schaefer, Sydney, Daliri, Ayoub, et al.
Created Date
2018

Muscular weakness is a common manifestation for Stroke survivors and for patients with Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction leading to reduced functional independence, especially mobility. Several rigid orthotic devices are being designed to assist mobility. However, limitations in majority of these devices are: 1) that they are constrained only to level walking applications, 2) are mostly bulky and rigid lacking user comfort. For these reasons, rehabilitation using soft-robotics can serve as a powerful modality in gait assistance and potentially accelerate functional recovery. The characteristics of soft robotic exosuit is that it’s more flexible, delivers high power to weight ratio, and conforms …

Contributors
Muthukrishnan, Niveditha, Polygerinos, Panagiotis, Lockhart, Thurmon, et al.
Created Date
2018

Modern, advanced statistical tools from data mining and machine learning have become commonplace in molecular biology in large part because of the “big data” demands of various kinds of “-omics” (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, etc.). However, in other fields of biology where empirical data sets are conventionally smaller, more traditional statistical methods of inference are still very effective and widely used. Nevertheless, with the decrease in cost of high-performance computing, these fields are starting to employ simulation models to generate insights into questions that have been elusive in the laboratory and field. Although these computational models allow for exquisite control …

Contributors
Seto, Christian, Pavlic, Theodore, Li, Jing, et al.
Created Date
2018

The ultimate goal of human movement control research is to understand how natural movements performed in daily reaching activities, are controlled. Natural movements require coordination of multiple degrees of freedom (DOF) of the arm. Patterns of arm joint control were studied during daily functional tasks, which were performed through the rotation of seven DOF in the arm. Analyzed movements which imitated the following 3 activities of daily living: moving an empty soda can from a table and placing it on a further position; placing the empty soda can from initial position at table to a position at shoulder level on …

Contributors
Sansgiri, Dattaraj, Dounskaia, Natalia, Schaefer, Sydney, et al.
Created Date
2018

The ultimate goal of human movement control research is to understand how natural movements performed in daily activities, are controlled. Natural movements require coordination of multiple degrees of freedom (DOF) of the arm. Here, patterns of arm joint control during daily functional tasks were examined, which are performed through rotation of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist with the use of seven DOF: shoulder flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and internal/external rotation; elbow flexion/extension and pronation/supination; wrist flexion/extension and radial/ulnar deviation. Analyzed movements imitated two activities of daily living: combing the hair and turning the page in a book. Kinematic and kinetic analyses were …

Contributors
Marshall, Dirk, Dounskaia, Natalia, Schaefer, Sydney, et al.
Created Date
2018

In this work, different passive prosthetic ankles are studied. It is observed that complicated designs increase the cost of production, but simple designs have limited functionality. A new design for a passive prosthetic ankle is presented that is simple to manufacture while having superior functionality. This prosthetic ankle design has two springs: one mimicking Achilles tendon and the other mimicking Anterior-Tibialis tendon. The dynamics of the prosthetic ankle is discussed and simulated using Working model 2D. The simulation results are used to optimize the springs stiffness. Two experiments are conducted using the developed ankle to verify the simulation It is …

Contributors
Bhat, Sandesh Ganapati, Redkar, Sangram, Sugar, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2017

The interaction between visual fixations during planning and performance in a dexterous task was analyzed. An eye-tracking device was affixed to subjects during sequences of null (salient center of mass) and weighted (non salient center of mass) trials with unconstrained precision grasp. Subjects experienced both expected and unexpected perturbations, with the task of minimizing object roll. Unexpected perturbations were controlled by switching weights between trials, expected perturbations were controlled by asking subjects to rotate the object themselves. In all cases subjects were able to minimize the roll of the object within three trials. Eye fixations were correlated with object weight …

Contributors
Smith, Michael David, Santello, Marco, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2017

Across primates, molar-emergence age is strongly correlated to life-history variables, such as age-at-first-reproduction and longevity. This relationship allows for the reconstruction of life-history parameters in fossil primates. The mechanism responsible for modulating molar-emergence age is unknown, however. This dissertation uses a biomechanical model that accurately predicts the position of molars in adults to determine whether molar emergence is constrained by chewing biomechanics throughout ontogeny. A key aspect of chewing system configuration in adults is the position of molars: the distal-most molar is constrained to avoid tensile forces at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Using three-dimensional data from growth samples of 1258 …

Contributors
Glowacka, Halszka, Schwartz, Gary T, Kimbel, William H, et al.
Created Date
2017

String players have been identified as the most affected group of instrumentalists suffering from musculoskeletal disorders, and most of the problems are related to posture. The high prevalence of injuries among string players suggests that there is room in the music curriculum for a program tailored to this population and that can provide both immediate and long-term solutions. Pilates is a mind-body conditioning method of exercises and a philosophy that shares many similarities with string playing technique and performance, which suggests that its practice can be beneficial to improve not only the posture of string players but also various other …

Contributors
Gallo, Maria Luciana, Norton, Kay, Landschoot, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2017

According to the CDC in 2010, there were 2.8 million emergency room visits costing $7.9 billion dollars for treatment of nonfatal falling injuries in emergency departments across the country. Falls are a recognized risk factor for unintentional injuries among older adults, accounting for a large proportion of fractures, emergency department visits, and urgent hospitalizations. The objective of this research was to identify and learn more about what factors affect balance using analysis techniques from nonlinear dynamics. Human balance and gait research traditionally uses linear or qualitative tests to assess and describe human motion; however, it is growing more apparent that …

Contributors
Smith, Victoria Ann, Spano, Mark L, Lockhart, Thurmon E, et al.
Created Date
2016

Introduction. Intervertebral disc degeneration (DD) is one of the most common diagnoses in patients with neck pain and contributes to worldwide disability. Despite the advances in diagnostic imaging today, little is known about functional status of cervical DD. The purpose of this research was to 1) develop and validate an ovine model of cervical spine DD, 2) to quantify and compare the effect of disc lesions on dynamic spinal stiffness, and 3) study the effect of disc lesions on spinal accelerations and displacements during two types of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). Methods. Fifteen sheep received surgically induced disc injury to …

Contributors
Colloca, Christopher John, Hinrichs, Richard N, Abbas, James, et al.
Created Date
2015

Olecranon fractures account for approximately 10% of upper extremity fractures and 95% of them require surgical fixation. Most of the clinical, retrospective and biomechanical studies have supported plate fixation over other surgical fixation techniques since plates have demonstrated low incidence of reoperation, high fixation stability and resumption of activities of daily living (ADL) earlier. Thus far, biomechanical studies have been helpful in evaluating and comparing different plate fixation constructs based on fracture stability. However, they have not provided information that can be used to design rehabilitation protocols such as information that relates load at the hand with tendon tension or …

Contributors
Jain, Saaransh, Abbas, James, Labelle, Jeffrey, et al.
Created Date
2015

The current work investigated the emergence of leader-follower roles during social motor coordination. Previous research has presumed a leader during coordination assumes a spatiotemporally advanced position (e.g., relative phase lead). While intuitive, this definition discounts what role-taking implies. Leading and following is defined as one person (or limb) having a larger influence on the motor state changes of another; the coupling is asymmetric. Three experiments demonstrated asymmetric coupling effects emerge when task or biomechanical asymmetries are imputed between actors. Participants coordinated in-phase (Ф =0o) swinging of handheld pendulums, which differed in their uncoupled eigenfrequencies (frequency detuning). Coupling effects were recovered …

Contributors
Fine, Justin Michael, Amazeen, Eric L., Amazeen, Polemnia G., et al.
Created Date
2015

The atomic force microscope (AFM) is capable of directly probing the mechanics of samples with length scales from single molecules to tissues and force scales from pico to micronewtons. In particular, AFM is widely used as a tool to measure the elastic modulus of soft biological samples by collecting force-indentation relationships and fitting these to classic elastic contact models. However, the analysis of raw force-indentation data may be complicated by mechanical heterogeneity present in biological systems. An analytical model of an elastic indentation on a bonded two-layer sample was solved. This may be used to account for substrate effects and …

Contributors
Doss, Bryant Lee, Ros, Robert, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2015

Locomotion in natural environments requires coordinated movements from multiple body parts, and precise adaptations when changes in the environment occur. The contributions of the neurons of the motor cortex underlying these behaviors are poorly understood, and especially little is known about how such contributions may differ based on the anatomical and physiological characteristics of neurons. To elucidate the contributions of motor cortical subpopulations to movements, the activity of motor cortical neurons, muscle activity, and kinematics were studied in the cat during a variety of locomotion tasks requiring accurate foot placement, including some tasks involving both expected and unexpected perturbations of …

Contributors
Stout, Eric, Beloozerova, Irina N, Dounskaia, Natalia, et al.
Created Date
2015

The football helmet is a device used to help mitigate the occurrence of impact-related traumatic (TBI) and minor traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) in the game of American football. The current design methodology of using a hard shell with an energy absorbing liner may be adequate for minimizing TBI, however it has had less effect in minimizing mTBI. The latest research in brain injury mechanisms has established that the current design methodology has produced a helmet to reduce linear acceleration of the head. However, angular accelerations also have an adverse effect on the brain response, and must be investigated as a …

Contributors
Darling, Timothy Karl, Rajan, Subramaniam, Muthuswamy, Jitendran, et al.
Created Date
2014

Human running requires extensive training and conditioning for an individual to maintain high speeds (greater than 10mph) for an extended duration of time. Studies have shown that running at peak speeds generates a high metabolic cost due to the use of large muscle groups in the legs associated with the human gait cycle. Applying supplemental external and internal forces to the human body during the gait cycle has been shown to decrease the metabolic cost for walking, allowing individuals to carry additional weight and walk further distances. Significant research has been conducted to reduce the metabolic cost of walking, however, …

Contributors
Kerestes, Jason, Sugar, Thomas, Redkar, Sangram, et al.
Created Date
2014

Multi-touch tablets and smart phones are now widely used in both workplace and consumer settings. Interacting with these devices requires hand and arm movements that are potentially complex and poorly understood. Experimental studies have revealed differences in performance that could potentially be associated with injury risk. However, underlying causes for performance differences are often difficult to identify. For example, many patterns of muscle activity can potentially result in similar behavioral output. Muscle activity is one factor contributing to forces in tissues that could contribute to injury. However, experimental measurements of muscle activity and force for humans are extremely challenging. Models …

Contributors
Lee, Jong Hwa, Jindrich, Devin L., Artemiadis, Panagiotis K., et al.
Created Date
2014

During the downswing all golfers must roll their forearms and twist the club handle in order to square the club face into impact. Anecdotally some instructors say that rapidly twisting the handle and quickly closing the club face is the best technique while others disagree and suggest the opposite. World class golfers have swings with a range of club handle twist velocities (HTV) from very slow to very fast and either method appears to create a successful swing. The purpose of this research was to discover the relationship between HTV at impact and selected body and club biomechanical characteristics during …

Contributors
Cheetham, Phillip, Hinrichs, Richard, Ringenbach, Shannon, et al.
Created Date
2014

Gait and balance disorders are the second leading cause of falls in the elderly. Investigating the changes in static and dynamic balance due to aging may provide a better understanding of the effects of aging on postural control system. Static and dynamic balance were evaluated in a total of 21 young (21-35 years) and 22 elderly (50-75 years) healthy subjects while they performed three different tasks: quiet standing, dynamic weight shifts, and over ground walking. During the quiet standing task, the subjects stood with their eyes open and eyes closed. When performing dynamic weight shifts task, subjects shifted their Center …

Contributors
Balasubramanian, Shruthi, Krishnamurthi, Narayanan, Abbas, James, et al.
Created Date
2014

Despite the critical role that the vertebral column plays in postural and locomotor behaviors, the functional morphology of the cervical region (i.e., the bony neck) remains poorly understood, particularly in comparison to that of the thoracic and lumbar sections. This dissertation tests the hypothesis that morphological variation in cervical vertebrae reflects differences in positional behavior (i.e., suspensory vs. nonsuspensory and orthograde vs. pronograde locomotion and postures). Specifically, this project addresses two broad research questions: (1) how does the morphology of cervical vertebrae vary with positional behavior and cranial morphology among primates and (2) where does fossil hominoid morphology fall within …

Contributors
Nalley, Thierra, Kimbel, William H, Reed, Kaye, et al.
Created Date
2013

A cerebral aneurysm is an abnormal ballooning of the blood vessel wall in the brain that occurs in approximately 6% of the general population. When a cerebral aneurysm ruptures, the subsequent damage is lethal damage in nearly 50% of cases. Over the past decade, endovascular treatment has emerged as an effective treatment option for cerebral aneurysms that is far less invasive than conventional surgical options. Nonetheless, the rate of successful treatment is as low as 50% for certain types of aneurysms. Treatment success has been correlated with favorable post-treatment hemodynamics. However, current understanding of the effects of endovascular treatment parameters …

Contributors
Babiker, Haithem, Frakes, David H, Adrian, Ronald, et al.
Created Date
2013

In social insect colonies, as with individual animals, the rates of biological processes scale with body size. The remarkable explanatory power of metabolic allometry in ecology and evolutionary biology derives from the great diversity of life exhibiting a nonlinear scaling pattern in which metabolic rates are not proportional to mass, but rather exhibit a hypometric relationship with body size. While one theory suggests that the supply of energy is a major physiological constraint, an alternative theory is that the demand for energy is regulated by behavior. The central hypothesis of this dissertation research is that increases in colony size reduce …

Contributors
Waters, James Stephen, Harrison, Jon F, Quinlan, Michael C., et al.
Created Date
2012

Spinal cord injury (SCI) disrupts the communication between supraspinal circuits and spinal circuits distal to the injury. This disruption causes changes in the motor abilities of the affected individual, but it can also be used as an opportunity to study motor control in the absence or limited presence of control from the brain. In the case of incomplete paraplegia, locomotion is impaired and often results in increased incidence of foot drag and decreased postural stability after injury. The overall goal of this work is to understand how changes in kinematics of movement and neural control of muscles effect locomotor coordination …

Contributors
Hillen, Brian, Jung, Ranu, Abbas, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

Approximately 1.7 million people in the United States are living with limb loss and are in need of more sophisticated devices that better mimic human function. In the Human Machine Integration Laboratory, a powered, transtibial prosthetic ankle was designed and build that allows a person to regain ankle function with improved ankle kinematics and kinetics. The ankle allows a person to walk normally and up and down stairs, but volitional control is still an issue. This research tackled the problem of giving the user more control over the prosthetic ankle using a force/torque circuit. When the user presses against a …

Contributors
Fronczyk, Adam Jerald, Sugar, Thomas G, Helms-Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation features a compilation of studies concerning the biophysics of multicellular systems. I explore eukaryotic systems across length scales of the cell cytoskeleton to macroscopic scales of tissues. I begin with a general overview of the natural phenomena of life and a philosophy of investigating developmental systems in biology. The topics covered throughout this dissertation require a background in eukaryotic cell physiology, viscoelasticity, and processes of embryonic tissue morphogenesis. Following a brief background on these topics, I present an overview of the Subcellular Element Model (ScEM). This is a modeling framework which allows one to compute the dynamics of …

Contributors
Sandersius, Sebastian Ambrose, Newman, Timothy J, Rez, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2011