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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – That buzz you might hear coming from the engineering building on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus could be the excitement in the air over the new motion capture and analysis laboratory. Or that buzz might just be the treadmill.

“Yeah, so I’m using it for my senior project, which is focused around gait analysis,” said Mitchell Leefers, Industrial Engineering student. “So I’m researching running gait patterns and trying to build a predictive model to determine a probability of people suffering from running injuries based on their current running patterns.”

Rendering the real-life aches and pains and motions into virtual solutions. That’s the hope of these industrial engineering students.

Sinan Onal, assistant professor of Industrial engineering, put the future in gear when he received a $185,000 National Science Foundation research grant.

Since September, the engineering students have stepped up their effort to use video game technology and apply it to the healthcare field.

“The motion capture systems have been used in filmmaking, military, healthcare, visual arts, and sports,” Onal said. “But we want to focus on healthcare to improve people’s lives.”

Markers placed on a person propagate as a digital framework giving these researchers a skeleton or template to build from.

“Some templates are related to lower body and upper body or full body,” said Shaida Karjarnovin, Industrial Engineering grad student. “Depending on the type of study you’re going to conduct you’re going to attach a bunch of different type of markers.”

Although it’s the first semester of the new motion capture and analysis lab, they’ve set foot on a new path towards healing medicine in the 21st century.