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Spring 2018

Inquiry Magazine Archive


Good Bones

Kinesiology professor designing revolutionary device to stimulate bone growth 

Rhonda Prisby

UTA kinesiologist Rhonda Prisby is making important breakthroughs in a topic that affects millions of people every day: bone regeneration. And she's one of the few in the country doing so.

The associate professor received a three-year, $250,000 National Science Foundation grant to design a revolutionary device that could stimulate bone growth. Ultimately, she and co-researcher Jeong-Bong Lee, a professor at UT Dallas, hope the machine could be used to help patients with osteoporosis and other bone ailments.

"If a person has been diagnosed with low bone mass, this could be the option for them," Dr. Prisby says.

She and Dr. Lee will design a small biomedical device to be implanted inside the bones of rats and activated over a length of time. They will then test for any bone growth in the animals stimulated by the device. If successful, it could assist people diagnosed with osteoporosis by lessening their risk of fracture.

Elderly patients are particularly prone to bone ailments, with the Centers for Disease Control estimating that one in four women over the age of 65 and one in six men over 65 suffer from osteoporosis.

Though the team's grant is currently focused on low bone mass conditions, Prisby and Lee believe the device could be developed in the future to help heal fractures in humans and perhaps even animals.

"Our society is aging rapidly. The potential of this device to improve the quality of life of elderly people is limitless," says Anne Bavier, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. "This is a classic example of the kind of work our college is doing to improve health and the human condition."

Innovative Program

The UTA Department of Kinesiology continues to bolster its academic and research programs with an emphasis on the areas of health and disease across the lifespan. Its position in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation has helped to foster and promote many unique collaborations facilitating the performance of high-impact clinical translational research by its faculty.

This collaborative spirit can be seen in the college's research clusters focused on solving pressing issues for the betterment of humanity.

Rhonda Prisby Kinesiology
Marco Brotto Nursing
Zui Pan Nursing

Cardiovascular Control
Paul Fadel Kinesiology
David Keller Kinesiology
Matt Brothers Kinesiology

Mike Nelson Kinesiology
Mark Haykowsky Nursing

Motor Control
Priscila Caçola Kinesiology
Mark Ricard Kinesiology

Zui Pan Nursing
Mark Haykowsky Nursing
Marco Brotto Nursing

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