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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



The product of this thesis aims to enable the study of the biochemical and physical dynamics of the lower limbs at high levels of muscle tension and fast contraction speeds. This is accomplished in part by a magnetic resonance (MR) compatible ergometer designed to apply a load as a torque of up to 420 Nm acting against knee extension at speeds as high as 4.7 rad/s. The system can also be adapted to apply the load as a force of up to 1200 N acting against full leg extension. The ergometer is designed to enable the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging in a three Tesla Siemens Skyra MRI system. Due to the electromagnetic limitations of having the device operate inside the magnet, the design is split into two components. One designed to fit inside the 70 cm bore of the scanner. This component is electromagnetically passive; made out of materials exhibiting minimal magnetic interference, and having no electrically powered parts. The other component is electromagnetically active; it contains all of the powered elements and actuates the passive part from another room. A tensioned cable transmits power through a waveguide; a pipe through the wall of the MRI room with an RF shield. The device was tested applying a sagittal plane moment on the knee joint during isometric, isokinetic, isotonic, and constant power contractions.


First Advisor

Frank C Sup

Second Advisor

Jane A Kent

Third Advisor

James R Rinderle