Biomedical Engineering

Maury L. Hull


Distinguished Professor Emeritus

(530) 752-2713

2004 Research Building I, UCDMC

Hull Lab


Personal Education

BS in Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie-Mellon University, 1969
MS in Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1970
PhD in Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1975
Post-Doc in Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1976


Director of the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory
Director of the Biomechanical Engineering Laboratory
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group and Mechanical Engineering Graduate Group

Research Interest

Professor Hull directs several ongoing research programs in musculoskeletal biomechanics.

Orthopedic Biomechanics
This research program seeks to improve orthopedic healthcare in the causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and repair, and rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries to the human knee joint. In treatment and repair, we are interested to improve surgical procedures for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament, advance methods for selecting and surgically implanting meniscal allografts, and develop new surgical techniques for total knee replacement. In our research, we rely heavily on imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and roentgen stereophotogrammetry (RSA) and use these modalities in novel ways. We also develop new computational and experimental methods including techniques to create accurate 3D models of bones, to study the kinematics of the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints, and to measure loads and deformations in musculoskeletal tissues.

Biomechanics of Whole Body Movement
This research program focuses on understanding factors which affect the force developed by muscle during both voluntary and electrically stimulated contractions, developing new theoretical methods for the analysis of human movement with particular emphasis on musculoskeletal modeling and simulation, and applying these methods to determine functional roles of muscles particularly those in the leg as well as loads in individual musculoskeletal tissues. To conduct experiments, we measure reaction loads with the environment using both commercially available (e.g. force plates) and custom multi-component load sensors, measure the electromyograms of multiple muscles, and measure segment kinematics using 3D video-based motion analysis. To construct musculoskeletal models and perform simulations, we develop custom software and use commercially available state-of-the-art software.

Sports Biomechanics and Equipment Design
In this research program, we are interested to identify the biomechanical and/or physiological determinants of performance in competitive cycling events, determine the optimal equipment set up by understanding the relation between equipment set up variables (e.g. crank arm length) and performance, and advance our understanding of the etiology of overuse knee injuries in the recreational and competitive cycling population as well as create improved methods for either preventing or ameliorating these injuries. Also we are interested in structural and suspension design in off-road bicycles.

Selected Publications

Smith, C. K., Chen, J. A., Howell, S. M., and Hull, M. L., 2009, “An in vivo study of the effect of distal femoral resection on passive knee extension,” J Arthroplasty, in press.

Hakansson, N. A., and Hull, M. L., 2009, “Muscle stimulation waveform timing patterns for upper and lower leg muscle groups to increase muscular endurance in functional electrical stimulation pedaling using a forward dynamic model,” IEEE Trans Biomed Eng, 56(9), pp. 2263-2270.

Howell, S. M., Kuznik, K., Hull, M. L., and Siston, R. A., 2008, “Results of an initial experience with custom-fit positioning total knee arthroplasty in a series of 48 patients,” Orthopedics, 31(9), pp. 857-863.

Smith, C., Hull, M. L., and Howell, S. M., 2008, “Roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis methods for determining ten causes of lengthening of a soft-tissue anterior cruciate ligament graft construct,” J Biomech Eng, 130(4), p. 041002.

Chia, H. N., and Hull, M. L., 2008, “Compressive moduli of the human medial meniscus in the axial and radial directions at equilibrium and at a physiological strain rate,” J Orthop Res, 26(7), pp. 951-956.

Koehle, M. J., and Hull, M. L., 2008, “A method of calculating physiologically relevant joint reaction forces during forward dynamic simulations of movement from an existing knee model,” J Biomech, 41(5), pp. 1143-1146.

Pham, A., and Hull, M. L., 2007, “Dehydration rates of meniscus and articular cartilage in vitro using a fast and accurate laser-based coordinate digitizing system,” J Biomech, 40(14), pp. 3223-3229.

Van Sickle, J. R., Jr., and Hull, M. L., 2007, “Is economy of competitive cyclists affected by the anterior-posterior foot position on the pedal?” J Biomech, 40(6), pp. 1262-1267.

Donahue, T. L., Hull, M. L., and Howell, S. M., 2006, “New algorithm for selecting meniscal allografts that best match the size and shape of the damaged meniscus,” J Orthop Res, 24(7), pp. 1535-1543.

Gregersen, C. S., Hull, M. L., and Hakansson, N. A., 2006, “How changing the inversion/eversion foot angle affects the nondriving intersegmental knee moments and the relative activation of the vastii muscles in cycling,” J Biomech Eng, 128(3), pp. 391-398.

Major Research Interests

Causes, treatment and surgical repair, and rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries and disease to the knee; muscle function, neuromuscular control, modeling, and simulation of human movement; sports biomechanics and equipment design with emphasis on cycling both on and off road.