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To analyze an abnormal gait pattern in mutant mice (Hugger), we conducted coarse-grained motion capture. Using a simple retroreflective marker-based approach, we could detect high-resolution mutant-specific gait patterns. The phenotypic gait patterns are caused by extreme vertical motion of limbs, revealing inefficient motor functions. To elucidate the inefficiency, we developed a musculoskeletal computer model of the mouse hindlimb based on X-ray CT data. By integrating motion data with the model, we determined mutant-specific musculotendon lengths, suggesting that three major muscles were involved in the abnormal gait. This approach worked well on laboratory mice, which were putatively too small to be motion capture subjects. Motion capture technology was originally developed for human study, and our approach may help fill neuroscience gaps between mouse and human behavioral phenotypes.
Date of Conference: 3-6 Sept. 2009