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Gregory Sawicki
Gregory Sawicki
Assistant Professor
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University (1999)
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Davis (2001)
Complex Systems Summer School, Santa Fe Institute (2004)
Graduate Certificate in Complex Systems, University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor (2006)
Ph.D. in Human Neuromechanics, University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor (2007)
Post-Doc, Integrative Biology, Brown University (Fall 2007-Summer 2009)
4212C Engineering Building III
NC State University
(919) 513-0787

Rehabilitation Engineering
Rehab Robotics, Bio-Inspired Design, Locomotion Neuromechanics, Muscle-Tendon Dynamics
The overall goal of the Human PoWeR (Physiology of Wearable Robotics) Laboratory is to uncover fundamental principles of locomotion neuromechanics and exploit them to develop better lower-limb robotic devices to assist both healthy and impaired human locomotion.

Our initial research will focus on the mechanics and neural control of the muscle-tendon unit. The approach will be multi-faceted and include:

(1) Development of simple neuromechanical models to explore how elastic mechanisms (i.e tendon and aponeurosis) can be exploited to allow for economical muscle force production.

(2) In vitro experiments using sonomicrometry to study isolated bullfrog plantaris muscle-tendon during carefully controlled cyclic contractions.

(3) In vivo experiments using ultrasound to study cyclic contractions in human triceps surae-Achilles' tendon during simple locomotor-like tasks.

Findings from these initial studies will motivate bioinspired designs for lower limb prostheses and exoskeletons. Designs will be tested in both healthy and clinical populations.
1. Matta P, Myers J, Sawicki GS, (In Press) "The influence of available reaction time on ball-player impact probability in youth baseball". Sports Health. (2013).

2. Farris DJ, Robertson BD, Sawicki GS, (In Press) "Passive elastic exoskeletons reduce soleus muscle force but not work in human hopping". J Appl Physiol. Epub Jun 20. (2013).

3. Shamaei K, Sawicki GS, Dollar A, "Estimation of quasi-stiffness of the human knee in the stance phase of walking" . PLoS One. (2013).

4. Shamaei K, Sawicki GS, Dollar A, "Estimation of quasi-stiffness and propulsive work of the human ankle in the stance phase of walking" . PLoS One. (2013).

5. Elliot G, Sawicki GS, Marecki A, Herr H, "The biomechanics and energetics of human running using an elastic knee exoskeleton". Proceedings of the 13th Biannual International IEEE Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, June 24-June 26: (2013).

6. Farris DJ, Sawicki GS, "Linking the mechanics and energetics of hopping with passive elastic ankle exoskeletons". J Appl Physiol. Dec 15; 113(12): 1862-72. Epub Oct 11. (2012).

7. Richards CR, Sawicki GS, “Elastic recoil can either amplify or attenuate muscle-tendon power, depending on inertial versus fluid dynamic loading”. Journal of Theoretical Biology. (2012).

8. Wutzke C, Sawicki GS, Lewek M, “The influence of a unilateral fixed ankle on metabolic and mechanical demands during walking in unimpaired young adults”. Journal of Biomechanics. (2012).

9. Farris DJ, Sawicki GS, "Human medial gastrocnemius force-velocity behaviour shifts with locomotion speed and gait". Proc Nat Acad Sci. (2012).

10. Robertson BD, Sawicki GS, "Influence of parallel spring-loaded exoskeleton on ankle muscle-tendon dynamics during simulated human hopping". Proceedings of the 33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, September 1-4: (2011).

11. Wiggin MB, Collins SH, Sawicki GS, "An exoskeleton using controlled energy storage and release to aid ankle propulsion". Proceedings of the 12th Biannual International IEEE Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, June 29-July 1: (2011).

12. Farris DJ, Sawicki GS, "The mechanics and energetics of human walking and running: a joint-level perspective". J R Soc Interface. on-line before print May, 25 (2011).


13. Sawicki GS, Lewis CL, Ferris DP "It pays to have a spring in your step". Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 37(3):130-8 (2009).

14. Sawicki GS, Ferris DP, "A pneumatically powered knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO) with myoelectric activation and inhibition". J Neuroeng Rehabil. 6(1):23 (2009).

15. Sawicki GS, Ferris DP, "Mechanics and energetics of incline walking with robotic ankle exoskeletons". J Exp Biol. 212:32-41 (2009).

16. Sawicki GS, Ferris DP, "Powered exoskeletons reveal the metabolic cost of plantar flexor mechanical work during walking with longer steps at constant step frequency". J Exp Biol. 212:21-31 (2009).

17. *Sawicki GS, Ferris DP, "Mechanics and energetics of level walking with powered ankle exoskeletons". J Exp Biol. 211:1402-1413 (2008).