Human Mobility Research Centre

Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
What the facility does

Our research is focused on bone and joint disorders caused by arthritis, osteoporosis, injury, and related problems.

Areas of expertise

The Human Mobility Research Centre is a partnership among Queen’s University, Kingston General Hospital, and Hotel Dieu Hospital. It serves as a point of collaboration among the disciplines of medicine, engineering, health sciences, and information technology.

The Centre is a leader in pioneering innovative treatments for damaged bone and joint tissues. The combined expertise of the Centre’s researchers has fuelled significant advances in repairing and reconstructing, bone, cartilage and other tissues that are critical to mobility. By focusing on practical challenges clinical faculty identify, the Centre employs a unique multidisciplinary approach in the development of innovative treatments for bone and joint disorders. A core staff of eight professionals facilitates the interaction of over 48 participating faculty members and more than 80 graduate students from the faculties of Engineering and Applied Science, Arts and Science, and Health Sciences, working together in integrated multidisciplinary research teams.

Current team projects include:

  • stem cell-based tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
  • tissue repair and joint surface repair technologies
  • computer-assisted surgery and therapies
  • structural drug delivery
  • in-situ tissue characterization
  • motion performance laboratory
  • biomechanical design
  • rehabilitation and ergonomics
  • clinical studies

Building on the Centre’s achievements and ongoing research, we envision a future where Canadians will enjoy greater mobility and independence throughout their lives.  Early detection and treatment of degenerative bone and joint conditions, combined with minimally invasive surgical treatments that optimize patient outcomes will reduce the burden of suffering as well as the economic costs currently associated with musculoskeletal disorders.

Research services

Computer-assisted pre-operative surgical planning and guidance for computer-aided surgery, specialized labs and equipment for connective tissue, bio-simulation, tissue processing, prosthesis design, software development, motion analysis, biomechanical testing, 3D rapid prototyping

Sectors of application
  • Education
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing

Specialized lab



Biomechanical Engineering Lab

Biomomentum Mach 1 Mechanical System

The Mach 1 is a mechanical testing system used on specimens between tens of microns and a few centimeters to mechanically stimulate and characterize tissues, polymers, gels, capsules, adhesive or foods. The MACH 1 uses load and displacement controlled motions to determine stiffness, strength, modulus, viscoelasticity, plasticity, hardness, adhesion, swelling, relaxation and creep.


AMTI Force 5

The AMTI Force 5 is a versatile simulator that can be configured for a variety of single and multi-axis tests, such as joint simulation, product testing, materials evaluation, and cadaver-based studies.  It can be configured for hip, knee or spine simulations.



The Ortho-Pods a six-station, pin-on plate wear-testing machine.


TA Instruments AR2000 Rheometer

The AR2000 is a rheometer, which provides structural characterization of fluids, polymer melts, solids and reactive materials.


KLA Tencor P-15 KLA Profilometer

The P-15 is a programmable stylus profiler system that provides 2D and 3D topographic measurements on a variety of surfaces.


MTS Bionix® Servohydraulic Axial/Torsional Test System

The axial/torsional configuration of the Bionex tabletop system enables biaxial testing, controlling torsional moments up to ±250N·m (±2200 lbf·in) and total rotations of 270º.  It is excellent for testing the durability and wear properties of components such as knee, hip and spine implants.  When paired with specialized subsystems and accessories, it is capable of performing both simple and complex kinematics studies of skeletal tissue and orthopedic constructs.


EVG ®510HE – Semi-Automated Hot Embossing System

The EVG510HE Semi-automated Hot Embossing System is designed for embossing and nano-imprinting applications.  It can be used for hot embossing applications of polymer substrates and spin-on polymers

Computer Assisted Surgery Lab

Dimension 1200es SST 3D printer (2)

To print a 3D model from a CAD file


ShapeGrabber 3D scanner model LM600, with scanner heads SG100 and SG1000 laser scanner

The LM600 is a 3D laser scanner that provides images for small and medium size parts.


3D Guidance medSAFE with preamp and 180 6DOF sensor

Pulsed-DC magnetic tracker

for surgical navigation. It tracks the instant position and orientation of micro-miniaturized sensors for intrabody navigation, measurement,

and localization of medical instruments or catheters.


GE Voluson ultrasound system


Tissue Engineering Lab

EnvisionTEC 3D Bioplotter ®

The 3D Bioplotter ® is a Rapid Prototyping tool for processing a great variety of biomaterials within the process of Computer Aided Tissue Engineering from 3D CAD models and patient CT data to the physical 3D scaffold with a designed and defined outer form and an open inner structure. The 3D-Bioplotter has the capacity of fabricating scaffolds using the widest range of materials of any singular Rapid Prototyping machine, from soft hydrogels over polymer melts up to hard ceramics and metals.


Perkin Elmer EnSpire ® Multimode Plate Reader

Scanning spectrophotometer which uses label-free technology with labelled detection to obtain data about cell and biochemical systems.


Thermo Scientific Forma Series II Water-Jacketed CO2 incubator (2)

Carbon dioxide incubators provide in-vitro environments for cell culture minimizing airborne contamination.


Environmental Scanning EM (electron Microscope)



Thermo Scientific Sorvall T1 Centrifuge

The Sorvall T1 Series provides high

capacity in a compact footprint, permitting the processing of large number of samples simultaneously.


Beckman Coulter LS6500 Multipurpose Scintillation Counter

The Beckman LS 6500 Scintillation System is a bench top liquid scintillation counter, with a

Motorola 68000 Series microprocessor, a digital signal processor, and a 32,768 channel

multichannel analyzer. It is designed to provide highly accurate, automated counting of the level

of radioactivity in radioactively tagged samples. The instrument can perform several types of

calculations on the data obtained from counting, as selected by the user.

Human Mobility Research Lab

TekScan  EH-1 USB Handle and CONFORMat  pressuring mapping system

A body pressure measurement system that uses tactile pressure sensors to measure pressure distribution on support surfaces.

Human Motion Performance Lab

Novel  pliance-x system

The pliance-x is a dynamic pressure distribution measuring systems for capacitive sensors which measures pressure distribution between soft and curved surfaces.  The elasticity of the sensor mats permits conformability to 3-dimensional deformations. The system is designed for a variety of testing use including medical, ergonomic and biomechanic applications.

HMRC Gait Lab

XCT 2000L Research pQCT scanner

Peripheral quantitative computed tomograph for the measurement at radius or tibia with variable collimation. Evaluation of volumetric bone density, bone geometry and muscle parameter at the forearm or lower leg using peripheral quantitative computes tomography.

HMRC Charles Sorbie Conference Room

Polycom HDX 7000 HD videoconference system Ontario Telemedicine Network

Portable Polycom videoconferencing system connected to the Ontario Telemedicine Network allowing access to hospitals, clinics, teaching facilities and other health care centres and providers in Ontario.  For educational, academic and clinical use.

  • Kingston General Hospital
  • Hôtel Dieu Hospital



Human Mobility Research Centre

Human Mobility Research Lab