College of Veterinary Medicine

Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory

Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory (CORL)

Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory (CORL)

Current and Past Research Projects
Contact Information

   For questions about giving
   contact Lynne Haley,
   Director of Development,
   at (509) 335-5021 or

New Clinical Trial: July 2013

Non-Invasive Clinical Trial for Dogs with Osteoarthritis




The Gait Analysis Laboratory
The CORL supports and operates a kinetic gait lab to assess ground reaction forces produced by dogs and humans using one AMTI OR6-6 and 2 AMTI OR6-7 strain gage-based force plates (3).  The integration of our forceplates with the current version of Acquire software allows for the measurement of the three orthogonal ground reaction forces and accompanying moments: mediolateral (Fx), craniocaudal (Fy), and vertical (Fz).  In addition to kinetic gait analysis, the CORL also implements kinematic gait analysis using 4 motion capture cameras and Vicon kinematic software suite.  This allows characterization of joint movement during gait.  The CORL also performs research with surface-electromyography to further characterize gait.  In order to obtain objective activity data of subjects at home while enrolled in clinical studies, the CORL fits each dog with a Philips Respironics Mini Mitter Actical accelerometer.  This technology gives an objective activity measurement at chosen epoch lengths. 



Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA)
The CORL supports and operates a Hologic QDR4500A fan beam dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer for assessment of lean body mass (muscle), fat, and bone composition analysis. Our unit's software allows for a diversity of animal subject analysis. Sub-regions of interest can also be identified an analyzed within the individual. We are also certified to perform human scans as well. All serial scans can be compared to previous scans with an extremely low covariance factor.


Diagnostic Radiology and Megavoltage Therapy Services
Imaging services available to the CORL through the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at WSU include the use of Radiography, C-Arm digital Fluoroscopy, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Scintigraphy and Ultrasonography. A linear accelerator is also available for megavoltage therapy requirements for oncologic-based projects.


Material Testing Analysis
The CORL has at its disposal the use of a complete materials testing laboratory through the School of Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences at WSU. Indentation, 4-point bending, torsial, axial compression analysis; both static and cyclic, can be performed on bone and composite materials. The CORL can also perform in vivo and ex vivo cartilage stiffness analysis using an Artscan hand-held indentation unit.


Physical Therapy

Desmo, Woodway medical grade treadmill used for: controlled exercise programs and post surgical rehabilitation purposes.

Swimming/Recovery Hydropool
The hydropool is used for equine anesthesia recovery and canine physical therapy swimming purposes.


State of the art anesthesia and patient monitoring equipment. Anesthesia machines are equipped with ventilators, anesthetic gases that include halothane, isoflurane, desflurane, and sevoflurane. Monitoring devices include Dynamap�, Doppler, ECG, direct blood pressure transducer, HP patient monitoring system, end tidal volume, blood gases and pulse oximeter.

State of the art surgical facilities, surgical equipment, and surgical expertise. Complete surgical services for veterinary-based orthopedic surgery (including, but not limited to, arthroscopy, fracture based-implants, total joint replacement (cemented and non-cemented) are available.

Current Clinical Recruitment Opportunities:

Elbow Osteoarthritis in Dogs and Nutraceutical Supplements    June 2012

Past Research Projects

Spinal Fusion – Evaluation and comparison of the osteogenic effects between several interferential stimulation devices intended for adjunct use to enhance surgically based spinal fusion

Diet and Osteoarthrosis – Evaluation of the effect of a special dietary formulation on the clinical expression of osteoarthritis in dogs with chronic hip dysplasia.

New Bone Forming Products – Evaluation of the osteogenic potential of a new castor bean polymer to an autogenous cancellous bone graft in the dog.

Fracture Fixation - A study to compare the properties of stiffness and strength of fiberglass/acrylic composite bars to solid acrylic connecting bars used in Type I ESF designs in veterinary orthopedics.

Effects of New Dietary Supplements on Osteoarthrosis  - Evaluation of the effects of a special dietary formulation on the clinical expression of chronic osteoarthritis in dogs.

Obesity and Osteoarthrosis  – Evaluation of the effect of obesity on the clinical expression of osteoarthritis in dogs with chronic hip dysplasia.

Treatment of Pain After Orthopedic Surgery - Several clinical studies evaluating the use of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug on the treatment of pain associated with cranial cruciate ligament surgery.


Steven A. Martinez, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS

Dr. Martinez received his Masters of Science degree in comparative pathology from the University of California at Davis in 1984 and received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of California Davis in 1985. He completed a small animal internship at California Animal Hospital Inc., Los Angeles, in 1986. Dr. Martinez entered a surgical residency at Michigan State University, which he completed in 1989. For one year following residency, he was an assistant professor of small animal surgery at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. In 1990 he became an assistant professor of small animal surgery at Michigan State University until 1997. In 1993 Dr. Martinez became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. In 1997, he accepted a position at Washington State University as assistant professor of small animal orthopedic surgery where he is still currently employed. He also has been an adjunct professor at Mississippi State University since the end of 2001.

Research Interests: Arthrology, surgical and non-surgical treatment of osteoarthritis, orthopedic patient rehabilitation, gait analysis, and DXA applications in orthopedics.

Nicole Kuhn, BS, LVT
CORL Manager

Nicole Kuhn completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology/Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Eastern Washington University in 2006. She is a licensed veterinary technician and has been working in the veterinary field since 1999. Previously, she ran the Small Animal Surgery Overflow Service at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Kelly Nansen, BS
Research Intern

Kelly Nansen completed her Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering at Washington State University in 2012. Her research interests are in biomechanics and orthopedics. 

Contact Information

If interested in finding out more about research opportunities through the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory at WSU, please call 1-800-498-9459
or e-mail the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory
Last Edited: Nov 25, 2013 11:21 AM   

Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164, 1-800-498-9459 Contact Us Safety Links