ProbeFix Dynamic crucial for ultrasound imaging of hamstring muscle and fascicle behaviour.

ProbeFix Dynamic T

Researchers in Maastricht and Leuven used ProbeFix Dynamic for a pioneering study using dynamic ultrasound imaging and 3D motion tracking in Nordic hamstring curl, single-leg Roman chair, and single-leg deadlift.

Last month one of our valued customers published the result of great research on hamstring fascicle behaviour and muscle forces in the Nordic hamstring curl (NHC), single-leg Roman chair (RCH), and single-leg deadlift (DL). The post on Twitter of main author Bas van Hooren got 600+ likes within a few days, with great reactions from the global scientific sports science community. Reasons enough for us to have a chat about this successful publication.

Bas Van Hooren

Professional athlete and sports scientist

Sports scientist Bas Van Hooren is currently doing PhD research at Maastricht University in the faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. His work is about hamstring injuries and performance enhancement and injury prevention in running. As a professional athlete, he has won several medals and became the Dutch national champion 3000m indoor in 2017. As freelance strength and conditioning specialist, he helps top athletes to improve their performance, using the latest scientific insights. As a sports scientist Van Hooren translates theoretical concepts into practical recommendations and published more than 30 scientific articles.

Synced video of ultrasound and 3D tracking

Van Hooren and his collaborators in Maastricht (Panayiotis Teratsias, Paul Willems, Maarten Drost and Kenneth Meijer) in KU Leuven (Benedicte Vanwanseele and Sam van Rossom) are grateful for the collaboration and support from Usono. “Capturing the ultrasound data would have been much more difficult or even impossible without the ProbeFix Dynamic T” he states when asked about his experience. The study included ten male participants who performed the exercises while full-body kinematics, ground reaction forces, surface muscle activation and biceps femoris long head fascicle behaviour with ultrasound were measured.

Measuring during exercises

Van Hooren explains: “By measuring the forces, activation, and fascicle behaviour of the hamstrings during these exercises we can get very valuable insights into the potential long-term effects that these exercises may have. For example, the amount of active fascicle lengthening during an exercise likely provides information about the stimulus for long-term increases in fascicle length (which is a risk factor for hamstring injuries). And by comparing fascicle length using ultrasound between these exercises, we can therefore get more information about which exercise is potentially most effective to modify this risk factor.

Custom-made holder

The ProbeFix Dynamic allowed us to visualize dynamic hamstring fascicle behaviour during multiple exercises. This is something that has not been achieved before because it is incredibly difficult to capture clear ultrasound images. The ProbeFix Dynamic however allowed us to fine-tune the position and orientation of the ultrasound probe to optimize image quality, which would not have been possible with conventional approaches. USONO even made a custom-made holder specifically designed for our flat-shaped ultrasound transducer in B-mode (Telemed ArtUs, Vilnius, Lithuania). They also made an attachment with reflective markers so we could determine the position and orientation of the probe with our 3D motion capture system. Overall, we are therefore very happy with the collaboration.

ProbeFix Dynamic with custom 3D marker attachment

Collaboration in new applications and studies

Regarding the collaboration CEO Victor Donker agrees with Van Hooren: “we love to work with intrinsically motivated people like Bas who strive for next level ultrasound research applications. We have known Bas and his colleagues in Maastricht for years and know they are always working on amazing studies that have a great impact on sports science.” The products and services Usono offers are designed especially for these applications. This ProbeFix Dynamic T version was developed in collaboration with Amsterdam UMC and colleagues in Maastricht. The ProbeFix Dynamic can be used in research into muscle behaviour during exercises or even running or cycling. With the modular probe adapter, any ultrasound (linear) probe can be attached to the human body. Related studies are performed in universities, private clinics and professional soccer clubs, in the Netherlands, United States, Italy, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom among many other countries.

Publication and contact

Muscle forces and fascicle behaviour during three hamstring exercises

Bas Van Hooren, Benedicte Vanwanseele, Sam van Rossom, Panayiotis Teratsias, Paul Willems, Maarten Drost, Kenneth Meijer

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