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Student Research

Barry's podiatric medicine students are actively involved in research to advance care of the lower extremities. Dr. Kaloian Ouzounov serves as Director of Research and Clinical Coordinator with Barry University's Foot and Ankle Institute and Assistant Professor of Podiatric Medicine within Barry University's School of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Ouzounov teaches research methodology, epidemiology, and statistics. He has performed research in the treatment of diabetic wounds, mortality and morbidity of hospitalized diabetic patients, utilization of total contact casting, and participated in clinical trials of the human skin substitutes Dermagraft ® and Apiligraf ® . Dr. Ouzounov oversees the student projects outlined below.

Podiatric Medicine Students' Current Research Projects

  1. Analysis of Adipose Tissues in the Foot.
    This study utilizes multiple tissue adipose samples from cadaver specimens to contrast and compare the structure of foot/leg fat on microscopic level. The cytoarchitectural design of the plantar fat pad is thought to play crucial role in the distribution of pressure and absorption of shock throughout the gate cycle. Analysis of the samples will be correlated to the manufacturing of foot orthoses as well as possible surgical fat pad replacement implants.
  2. Implanted Kirschner wire for an end-to-end fusion of the Proximal Interphalangeal Joint.
    This is a prospective study on the outcome of a digital K-wire arthrodesis surgical procedure. The procedure implemented is a standard hammertoe end-to-end arthrodesis with K-wire fixation. A 0.045 Kirschner wire will be cut to approximately 4 cm (based on the length of the proximal and middle phalanx) and angled to 15 degrees of plantarflexion. This k-wire will be applied in the place of cortical bone grafts. The Kirschner wire is integrated into the cancellous bone and a callous of tissue will be formed around it, making the fusion indefinite. This study will determine the efficacy of a K-wire designed to be a permanent implant as a cost effective procedure with increased fusion rate, decreased mal-union frequency, and minimal inflammatory reaction.
  3. The Effects of Corrected Foot Pathomechanics on Golfer Performance.
    Golfers who have an osseous or soft-tissue induced misaligned foot type in their driving leg will tend to hit the ball more inconsistently. Such inconsistencies will force the player to make constant adjustments with other parts of the body. The strain a player endures can manifest as fatigue, pain, and frustration. By correcting foot pathomechanics the lower body will be realigned, and the player will not have to put undo physical strain on the other parts of their body. By correcting the biomechanics of the foot, a player should be able to hit more accurate shots on a more consistent basis, and the symptoms of fatigue and pain should be alleviated by allowing the power fulcrums of the golf swing to fall back into a natural alignment.
  4. Senior Class research papers.
    It is part of the curriculum that every graduating student completes a publishable paper. Four or five students are assigned to each clinical faculty member. The clinical faculty then advises and monitors the progression of the student throughout the development of the project. Some of the current topics of the students assigned to me are Charcot's Foot, Calcaneal Fractures, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Foot Orthosis.

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