Foot Biomechanics and Thermoregulation in Diabetes and Peripheral Artery Disease
Examining Mechanical Energy Dissipation
Image of foot using the thermal camera to measure heat exertion
Diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD) are one of the most significant risk factors for the formation of ulcers in the feet of patients. These ulcers can predispose the feet to infections and tissue breakdown, leading to high amputation rates in the affected patients. A key factor in the formation of ulcers is impaired temperature regulation in the foot. Yet, the mechanism behind impaired temperature regulation in these patients remain unclear. Our goal of this project is to determine whether foot biomechanics can predict impaired thermoregulation in patients with diabetes and PAD.
In recent years, Dr. Takahashi’s research team has developed computational tools to quantify mechanical energy dissipation within the foot. We are currently examining whether mechanical energy dissipation in the foot is directly related to temperature increase during walking. By identifying this link between foot biomechanics and thermoregulation, such knowledge could inform how patients with diabetes and PAD may be at higher risk for the formation of ulcers in the feet. These insights could also lead to novel designs of wearable devices, such as footwear or foot fabrics, that could assist in foot thermoregulation.
Team Members on the Project:
Kota Takahashi, Junior Investigator
Jeffrey Patterson, PhD Student
Nikolaos Papachatzis, PhD Student
Angel Gonzalez, Master’s Student
Erica Hedrick, Master's Student
TeSean Wooden, Undergraduate Student
Aaron Robinson, Undergraduate Student
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