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Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Facility

Monitoring movement at the facility
Monitoring movement at the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Facility.

The Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Facility (MSKBRF) is a world leading centre for the study of biomechanics and musculoskeletal health.

The facility is home to a unique, state-of-the-art combination of equipment and a dedicated team of academics, researchers and support staff.

We use cutting-edge approaches for measuring and imaging human dynamics and individual joint biomechanics. We offer an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to musculoskeletal, biomechanics and biomedical engineering research, applications and translation.


Our aim is to deliver leading research, teaching, innovation and excellence in the musculoskeletal field. We achieve this by:

  • supporting research and teaching across the University
  • providing a resource for clinicians, stakeholders and partners
  • providing an NHS referral space for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Clinical Gait Analysis service
  • offering access to sports teams and businesses requiring biomechanical, clinical or physiological data.

Our equipment

The combined set of laboratories offer:

  • full body motion analysis to clinical standards including clinical gait analysis
  • a separate dedicated teaching laboratory
  • a fluoroscopy laboratory that combines and synchronises standard motion analysis with biplanar fluoroscopy (dynamic 3D x-ray imagery). This facility is one of only a handful of equivalent facilities worldwide.
  • a MicroCT scanning room
  • a clinical assessment / venepuncture room.

We also have controlled access, visitor waiting area and dedicated changing and bathroom facilities for patients.

Explore the technical features of our facility.

Research capability

Our research outcomes have a direct impact on the well-being of the population.

Our research:

  • improves the lives of people suffering from osteoarthritis and diseases and conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system
  • informs on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal (MSK) diseases, such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Huntington’s Disease (HD), injury, deconditioning following illness, Sarcopenia and Degenerative Disc Disease
  • helps define degenerative processes in musculoskeletal (MSK) diseases
  • informs new treatments, prognostic and diagnostic tools including surgery and rehabilitation monitoring
  • optimises and tests new regenerative medical therapies and devices
  • generates unique datasets available for open access by other researchers
  • fosters collaboration by creating global networks
  • highlights advances that can improve public health
  • engages with government, schools, industry, academia and the wider public
  • disseminates research outcomes to enable further research.


The facility’s unique position in the global field of biomechanics research offers both undergraduate and postgraduate students enhanced learning opportunities not available elsewhere in the UK.

Due to our diverse sources of research funding, students can become involved in numerous research programmes, and access extensive data sets and images to support their learning and project work.

Facility Director

Professor Cathy Holt

Professor Cathy Holt

Director of Biomechanics Research

+44 (0)29 2087 4533

Contact us

Please get in touch if you would like to view or book our facilities.

Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Facility