13th Denman Undergraduate Research Forum (2008)

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    Oh Deer! Seasonality and Utilization at Three Fort Ancient Sites
    (2008-05-14) Deppen, Jacob; Cook, Robert A.
    The SunWatch site was a large Fort Ancient village located in present-day Dayton, Ohio. Much is known about the SunWatch site, but its relationship with smaller Fort Ancient sites in the area remains unclear. This project looks at two smaller sites (Wegerzyn Gardens and Wildcat) to explore that relationship with SunWatch, specifically in terms of seasonal mobility, and to examine the effects of environmental change on deer utilization strategies. SunWatch was occupied seasonally during its early period (A.D. 1150-1300) and year-round in its later period (A.D. 1300-1450). I examined the Wegerzyn and Wildcat assemblages to see if those sites might be hunting camps from the seasonal period at SunWatch. A prolonged period of drought in the A.D. 1300s may have had significant consequences for Fort Ancient villages. This study examines deer utilization strategies at these sites through time to see what changes, if any, might be the result of environmental stress. Seasonality and utilization differences were tested by analyzing all deer bones from radiocarbon-dated contexts at the three sites. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was chosen over other species because it is a good proxy for both seasonality and utility and because of its abundance in the sample. The deer remains were aged using epiphyseal closure and tooth eruption sequences. I used meat- and marrow-utility indices to look for differences through time and between small and large sites. This study was inconclusive with regard to seasonality at the small sites. The results do imply that deer utilization strategies changed through time, possibly related to environmental stress. Deer age and utility selection practices that are evident in the early period (when environmental conditions were more favorable) are not present in the later period (during a period of increased drought).
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    Design, Construction, and Validation of a Cadaver Knee Motion Testing Device
    (2008-05-14) Thompson, Julie; Siston, Robert
    The knee joint is a complex part of the human body, exhibiting six degrees of freedom, and plays an important role in many everyday activities including walking, running and kneeling, making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries and disorders. Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), for example, causes the tibia to slide too far forward relative to the knee and also affects side-to-side rotation of the lower leg. Knee kinematics may also be affected when the joint is diseased, such as by osteoarthritis, which is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of joint cartilage. Surgical procedures, such as ACL reconstruction and total knee replacement, commonly are required to alleviate pain and restore more normal joint function. In recent years, many research studies have been aimed at discovering how to better restore normal knee motion and function after surgery. A thorough understanding of normal knee kinematics and how surgical procedures affect knee kinematics is required for achieving this goal. Since it is unethical to simulate surgery on human subjects, there is a need for an experimental device which can utilize cadaver knee specimens to simulate motion. The purpose of this project is to design, construct, and validate a cadaver knee motion testing device using passive motion for the purpose of understanding how surgical procedures affect knee kinematics. The design is based on a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine. A CPM machine is a device often used on patients who have undergone knee surgeries, such as total knee replacement or ACL reconstruction. The device passively flexes and extends the knee at slow speeds, which helps to reduce the swelling that may lead to joint stiffness. I created a custom CPM machine so that it could be easily adapted for both a whole cadaver leg and a transected knee and also so that I could investigate different joint angles and speeds that are not possible with existing CPM machines. The completed device will be capable of moving a cadaver knee through a range of motion of 0 to 120 degrees. The angular velocity at the knee joint can also be varied between 30 and 750 degrees/minute. The design consists of a 4-bar linkage in combination with a slider linkage. I utilized kinematic vector loop equations to determine the required position and speed of the slider to obtain the desired knee flexion angles and angular velocities. The device is powered by a linear slider which is controlled by a custom LabVIEW program. The final construction of the device is expected to be completed by early April. Evaluation of the completed device will take place during the remainder of spring quarter.