Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hot off the presses! Dec 01 J Biomech

The Dec 01 issue of the J Biomech is now up on Pubget (About J Biomech): if you're at a subscribing institution, just click the link in the latest link at the home page. (Note you'll only be able to get all the PDFs in the issue if your institution subscribes to Pubget.)

Latest Articles Include:

  • Editorial Board and Publication Information
    - J Biomech 43(16):IFC (2010)
  • Plasticity of human Achilles tendon mechanical and morphological properties in response to cyclic strain
    - J Biomech 43(16):3073-3079 (2010)
    The purpose of the current study in combination with our previous published data (Arampatzis et al., 2007) was to examine the effects of a controlled modulation of strain magnitude and strain frequency applied to the Achilles tendon on the plasticity of tendon mechanical and morphological properties. Eleven male adults (23.9±2.2 yr) participated in the study. The participants exercised one leg at low magnitude tendon strain (2.97±0.47%), and the other leg at high tendon strain magnitude (4.72±1.08%) of similar frequency (0.5 Hz, 1 s loading, 1 s relaxation) and exercise volume (integral of the plantar flexion moment over time) for 14 weeks, 4 days per week, 5 sets per session. The exercise volume was similar to the intervention of our earlier study (0.17 Hz frequency; 3 s loading, 3 s relaxation) allowing a direct comparison of the results. Before and after the intervention ankle joint moment has been measured by a dynamometer, tendon–aponeurosis elongation by ult! rasound and cross-sectional area of the Achilles tendon by magnet resonance images (MRI). We found a decrease in strain at a given tendon force, an increase in tendon–aponeurosis stiffness and tendon elastic modulus of the Achilles tendon only in the leg exercised at high strain magnitude. The cross-sectional area (CSA) of the Achilles tendon did not show any statistically significant (P>0.05) differences to the pre-exercise values in both legs. The results indicate a superior improvement in tendon properties (stiffness, elastic modulus and CSA) at the low frequency (0.17 Hz) compared to the high strain frequency (0.5 Hz) protocol. These findings provide evidence that the strain magnitude applied to the Achilles tendon should exceed the value, which occurs during habitual activities to trigger adaptational effects and that higher tendon strain duration per contraction leads to superior tendon adaptational responses.
  • Feature selection using a principal component analysis of the kinematics of the pivot shift phenomenon
    - J Biomech 43(16):3080-3084 (2010)
    The pivot shift test reproduces a complex instability of the knee joint following rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament. The grade of the pivot shift test has been shown to correlate to subjective criteria of knee joint function, return to physical activity and long-term outcome. This severity is represented by a grade that is attributed by a clinician in a subjective manner, rendering the pivot shift test poorly reliable. The purpose of this study was to unveil the kinematic parameters that are evaluated by clinicians when they establish a pivot shift grade. To do so, eight orthopaedic surgeons performed a total of 127 pivot shift examinations on 70 subjects presenting various degrees of knee joint instability. The knee joint kinematics were recorded using electromagnetic sensors and principal component analysis was used to determine which features explain most of the variability between recordings. Four principal components were found to account for most of this variability (69%), with only the first showing a correlation to the pivot shift grade (r=0.55). Acceleration and velocity of tibial translation were found to be the features that best correlate to the first principal component, meaning they are the most useful for distinguishing different recordings. The magnitudes of the tibial translation and rotation were amongst those that accounted for the least variability. These results indica! te that future efforts to quantify the pivot shift should focus more on the velocity and acceleration of tibial translation and less on the traditionally accepted parameters that are the magnitudes of posterior translation and external tibial rotation.
  • Simulated elliptical bioprosthetic valve deformation: Implications for asymmetric transcatheter valve deployment
    - J Biomech 43(16):3085-3090 (2010)
    The asymmetric, elliptical shape of a transcatheter aortic valve (TAV), after implantation into a calcified aortic root, has been clinically observed. However, the impact of elliptical TAV configuration on TAV leaflet stress and strain distribution and valve regurgitation is largely unknown. In this study, we developed computational models of elliptical TAVs based on a thin pericardial bioprosthetic valve model recently developed. Finite element and computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed to investigate TAV leaflet structural deformation and central backflow leakage, and compared with those of a nominal symmetric TAV. From the results, we found that for a distorted TAV with an elliptical eccentricity of 0.68, the peak stress increased significantly by 143% compared with the nominal circular TAV. When the eccentricity of an elliptical TAV was larger than 0.5, a central backflow leakage was likely to occur. Also, deployment of a TAV with a major calcified! region perpendicular to leaflet coaptation line was likely to cause a larger valve leakage. In conclusion, the computational models of elliptical TAVs developed in this study could improve our understanding of the biomechanics involved in a TAV with an elliptical configuration and facilitate optimal design of next-generation TAV devices.
  • Structural and functional changes of the articular surface in a post-traumatic model of early osteoarthritis measured by atomic force microscopy
    - J Biomech 43(16):3091-3098 (2010)
    The functional integrity of the articulating cartilage surface is a critical determinant of joint health. Although a variety of techniques exist to characterize the structural changes in the tissue with osteoarthritis (OA), some with extremely high resolution, most lack the ability to detect and monitor the functional changes that accompany the structural deterioration of this essential bearing surface. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) enables the acquisition of both structural and mechanical properties of the articular cartilage surface, with up to nanoscale resolution, making it particularly useful for evaluating the functional behavior of the macromolecular network forming the cartilage surface, which disintegrates in OA. In the present study, AFM was applied to the articular cartilage surfaces from six pairs of canine knee joints with post-traumatic OA. Microstructure (RMS roughness) and micromechanics (dynamic indentation modulus, E) of medial femoral condyle cartilages were compared between contralateral controls and cruciate-transected knee joints, which develop early signs of OA by three months after surgery. Results reveal a significant increase in RMS roughness and a significant four-fold decrease in E in cartilages from cruciate-transected joints versus contralateral controls. Compared to previous reports of changes in bulk mechanics, AFM was considerably more sensitive at detecting early cartilage changes due to cruciate-deficiency. The use of AFM in this study provides important new information on early changes in the natural history of OA because of its ability to sensitively detect and measure local structural and functional changes of the articular cartilage surface, the presumptive site of osteoarthritic initiation.
  • Emotional influences on locomotor behavior
    - J Biomech 43(16):3099-3103 (2010)
    Emotional responses to appetitive and aversive stimuli motivate approach and avoidance behaviors essential for survival. The purpose of the current study was to determine the impact of specific emotional stimuli on forward, approach-oriented locomotion. Steady state walking was assessed while participants walked toward pictures varying in emotional content (erotic, happy people, attack, mutilation, contamination, and neutral). Step length and step velocity were calculated for the first two steps following picture onset. Exposure to the mutilation and contamination pictures shortened the lengths of step one and step two compared to the erotic pictures. Additionally, step velocity was greater during exposure to the erotic pictures compared to (1) the contamination and mutilation pictures for step one and (2) all other picture categories for step two. These findings suggest that locomotion is facilitated when walking toward approach-oriented emotional stimuli but compromi! sed when walking toward aversive emotional stimuli. The data extend our understanding of fundamental interactions among motivational orientations, emotional reactions, and resultant actions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
  • Mechanics of cranial sutures using the finite element method
    - J Biomech 43(16):3104-3111 (2010)
    To investigate how cranial suture morphology and the arrangement of sutural collagen fibres respond to compressive and tensile loads, an idealised bone–suture–bone complex was analysed using a two-dimensional finite element model. Three suture morphologies were simulated with an increasing interdigitation index (I.I.): butt-ended, moderate interdigitated, and complex interdigitated. The collagen matrix within all sutures was modelled as an isotropic material, and as an orthotropic material in the interdigitated sutures with fibre alignment as reported in studies of miniature pigs. Static uniform compressive or tensile loading was applied to the complex. In interdigitated sutures with isotropic material properties, the orientation of the maximum (tensile) principal stresses within the suture matched the collagen fibre orientation observed in compressed and tensed sutures of miniature pigs. This suggests that randomly arranged sutural collagen fibres could optimise t! o an orientation most appropriate to withstand the predominant type of loading. A compression-resistant fibre arrangement imparted the highest suture strain energy relative to the isotropic and tension-resistant arrangements, indicating that this configuration maximises energy storage. A comparison across the different suture morphologies indicated that bone strain energy generally decreased with a decrease in I.I., irrespective of the sutural fibre arrangement. However, high bone stress at the interdigitation apices shifted to the limbs of the suture with an increase in I.I. These combined findings highlight the importance of suture morphology and anisotropy as properties having a significant influence on sutural mechanics.
  • Are allogenic or xenogenic screws and plates a reasonable alternative to alloplastic material for osteosynthesis—A histomorphological analysis in a dynamic system
    - J Biomech 43(16):3112-3117 (2010)
    Despite invention of titanium and resorbable screws and plates, still, one of the main challenges in bone fixation is the search for an ideal osteosynthetic material. Biomechanical properties, biocompatibility, and also cost effectiveness and clinical practicability are factors for the selection of a particular material. A promising alternative seems to be screws and plates made of bone. Recently, xenogenic bone pins and screws have been invented for use in joint surgery. In this study, screws made of allogenic sheep and xenogenic human bone were analyzed in a vital and dynamic sheep-model and compared to conventional titanium screws over a standard period of bone healing of 56 days with a constant applied extrusion force. Biomechanical analysis and histomorphological evaluation were performed. After 56 days of insertion xenogenic screws made of human bone showed significantly larger distance of extrusion of on average 173.8 μm compared to allogenic screws made of sheep bone of on average 27.8 and 29.95 μm of the titanium control group. Severe resorption processes with connective tissue interposition were found in the histomorphological analysis of the xenogenic screws in contrast to new bone formation and centripetal vascularization of the allogenic bone screw, as well as in processes of incorporation of the titanium control group. The study showed allogenic cortical bone screws as a substantial alternative to titanium screws with good biomechanical properties. In contrast to other reports a different result was shown for the xenogenic bone screws. They showed insufficient holding strength with confirmative histomorphological signs of degradation and insufficient osseointegration. Before common clinical use of xenogenic osteosynthetic material, further evaluation should be performed.
  • The effect of connective tissue material uncertainties on knee joint mechanics under isolated loading conditions
    - J Biomech 43(16):3118-3125 (2010)
    Although variability in connective tissue parameters is widely reported and recognized, systematic examination of the effect of such parametric uncertainties on predictions derived from a full anatomical joint model is lacking. As such, a sensitivity analysis was performed to consider the behavior of a three-dimensional, non-linear, finite element knee model with connective tissue material parameters that varied within a given interval. The model included the coupled mechanics of the tibio-femoral and patello-femoral degrees of freedom. Seven primary connective tissues modeled as non-linear continua, articular cartilages described by a linear elastic model, and menisci modeled as transverse isotropic elastic materials were included. In this study, a multi-factorial global sensitivity analysis is proposed, which can detect the contribution of influential material parameters while maintaining the potential effect of parametric interactions. To illustrate the effect of ma! terial uncertainties on model predictions, exemplar loading conditions reported in a number of isolated experimental paradigms were used. Our findings illustrated that the inclusion of material uncertainties in a coupled tibio-femoral and patello-femoral model reveals biomechanical interactions that otherwise would remain unknown. For example, our analysis revealed that the effect of anterior cruciate ligament parameter variations on the patello-femoral kinematic and kinetic response sensitivities was significantly larger, over a range of flexion angles, when compared to variations associated with material parameters of tissues intrinsic to the patello-femoral joint. We argue that the systematic sensitivity framework presented herein will help identify key material uncertainties that merit further research and provide insight on those uncertainties that may not be as relative to a given response.
  • Mechanisms of initial endplate failure in the human vertebral body
    - J Biomech 43(16):3126-3131 (2010)
    Endplate failure occurs frequently in osteoporotic vertebral fractures and may be related to the development of high tensile strain. To determine whether the highest tensile strains in the vertebra occur in the endplates, and whether such high tensile strains are associated with the material behavior of the intervertebral disc, we used micro-CT-based finite element analysis to assess tissue-level strains in 22 elderly human vertebrae (81.5±9.6 years) that were compressed through simulated intervertebral discs. In each vertebra, we compared the highest tensile and compressive strains across the different compartments: endplates, cortical shell, and trabecular bone. The influence of Poisson-type expansion of the disc on the results was determined by compressing the vertebrae a second time in which we suppressed the Poisson expansion. We found that the highest tensile strains occurred within the endplates whereas the highest compressive strains occurred within the trabec! ular bone. The ratio of strain to assumed tissue-level yield strain was the highest for the endplates, indicating that the endplates had the greatest risk of initial failure. Suppressing the Poisson expansion of the disc decreased the amount of highly tensile-strained tissue in the endplates by 79.4±11.3%. These results indicate that the endplates are at the greatest risk of initial failure due to the development of high tensile strains, and that such high tensile strains are associated with the Poisson expansion of the disc. We conclude that initial failure of the vertebra is associated with high tensile strains in the endplates, which in turn are influenced by the material behavior of the disc.
  • Feedback control from the jaw joints during biting: An investigation of the reptile Sphenodon using multibody modelling
    - J Biomech 43(16):3132-3137 (2010)
    Sphenodon, a lizard-like reptile, is the only living representative of a group that was once widespread at the time of the dinosaurs. Unique jaw mechanics incorporate crushing and shearing motions to breakdown food, but during this process excessive loading could cause damage to the jaw joints and teeth. In mammals like ourselves, feedback from mechanoreceptors within the periodontal ligament surrounding the teeth is thought to modulate muscle activity and thereby minimise such damage. However, Sphenodon and many other tetrapods lack the periodontal ligament and must rely on alternative control mechanisms during biting. Here we assess whether mechanoreceptors in the jaw joints could provide feedback to control muscle activity levels during biting. We investigate the relationship between joint, bite, and muscle forces using a multibody computer model of the skull and neck of Sphenodon. When feedback from the jaw joints is included in the model, predictions agree well wi! th experimental studies, where the activity of the balancing side muscles reduces to maintain equal and minimal joint forces. When necessary, higher, but asymmetric, joint forces associated with higher bite forces were achievable, but these are likely to occur infrequently during normal food processing. Under maximum bite forces associated with symmetric maximal muscle activation, peak balancing side joint forces were more than double those of the working side. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that feedback similar to that used in the simulation is present in Sphenodon.
  • Ambulatory estimation of foot placement during walking using inertial sensors
    - J Biomech 43(16):3138-3143 (2010)
    This study proposes a method to assess foot placement during walking using an ambulatory measurement system consisting of orthopaedic sandals equipped with force/moment sensors and inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes). Two parameters, lateral foot placement (LFP) and stride length (SL), were estimated for each foot separately during walking with eyes open (EO), and with eyes closed (EC) to analyze if the ambulatory system was able to discriminate between different walking conditions. For validation, the ambulatory measurement system was compared to a reference optical position measurement system (Optotrak). LFP and SL were obtained by integration of inertial sensor signals. To reduce the drift caused by integration, LFP and SL were defined with respect to an average walking path using a predefined number of strides. By varying this number of strides, it was shown that LFP and SL could be best estimated using three consecutive strides. LFP and SL estimated f! rom the instrumented shoe signals and with the reference system showed good correspondence as indicated by the RMS difference between both measurement systems being 6.5±1.0 mm (mean ±standard deviation) for LFP, and 34.1±2.7 mm for SL. Additionally, a statistical analysis revealed that the ambulatory system was able to discriminate between the EO and EC condition, like the reference system. It is concluded that the ambulatory measurement system was able to reliably estimate foot placement during walking.
  • The role of mineral content in determining the micromechanical properties of discrete trabecular bone remodeling packets
    - J Biomech 43(16):3144-3149 (2010)
    In trabecular bone, each remodeling event results in the resorption and/or formation of discrete structural units called 'packets'. These remodeling packets represent a fundamental level of bone's structural hierarchy at which to investigate composition and mechanical behaviors. The objective of this study was to apply the complementary techniques of quantitative backscattered electron microscopy (qBSEM) and nanoindentation to investigate inter-relationships between packet mineralization, elastic modulus, contact hardness and plastic deformation resistance. Indentation arrays were performed across nine trabecular spicules from 3 human donors; these spicules were then imaged using qBSEM, and discretized into their composite remodeling packets (127 in total). Packets were classified spatially as peripheral or central, and mean contact hardness, plastic deformation resistance, elastic modulus and calcium content calculated for each. Inter-relationships between measu! red parameters were analysed using linear regression analyses, and dependence on location assessed using Student's t-tests. Significant positive correlations were found between all mechanical parameters and calcium content. Elastic modulus and contact hardness were significantly correlated, however elastic modulus and plastic deformation resistance were not. Calcium content, contact hardness and elastic modulus were all significantly higher for central packets than for peripheral, confirming that packet mineral content contributes to micromechanical heterogeneity within individual trabecular spicules. Plastic deformation resistance, however, showed no such regional dependence, indicating that the plastic deformation properties in particular, are determined not only by mineral content, but also by the organic matrix and interactions between these two components.
  • A quantitative comparison of a bone remodeling model with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and analysis of the inter-individual biological variability of femoral neck T-score
    - J Biomech 43(16):3150-3155 (2010)
    The development of consistent procedures with the inclusion of patient-specific data is essential in the computational modeling of biological processes, in order to achieve clinical relevant data. In this work, these issues are addressed with the development of a methodology that combines the gold standard technique for bone mineral density measurement and osteoporosis diagnosis, Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), with a computational model for bone remodeling simulation. The DXA results were divided in three samples constituted from proximal femur DXA exams of patients in different stages of bone mineral density (normal, osteopenia and osteoporosis). These results were quantitatively compared with computational model results. A correlation study was performed between femoral neck T-score and a parameter from the model to ascertain the hypothesis of adjusting the model accordingly to biological variables. The results evidenced the predictive ability of the computa! tional model in the estimation of femoral neck bone mineral content (BMC), with a maximum relative error of 3.92%. On the other hand, a strong correlation (R=−0.862) was found between the variables in study and a mathematical relationship was obtained to estimate the range of values for a model parameter that leads to biological relevant results. The methodology developed and the results obtained represent a solid and reliable basis to further studies on bone quality, ensuring the validity of the computational model in the simulation of bone remodeling process.
  • Is a single or double arm technique more advantageous in triple jumping?
    - J Biomech 43(16):3156-3161 (2010)
    Triple jumpers employ either an asymmetrical 'single-arm' action or symmetrical 'double-arm' action in the takeoff of each phase of the jump. This study investigated which technique is more beneficial in each phase using computer simulation. Kinematic data were obtained from an entire triple jump using a Vicon automatic motion capture system. A planar 13-segment torque-driven subject-specific computer simulation model was evaluated by varying torque generator activation timings using a genetic algorithm in order to match performance data. The matching produced a close agreement between simulation and performance, with differences of 3.8%, 2.7%, and 3.1% for the hop, step, and jump phases, respectively. Each phase was optimised for jump distance and an increase in jump distance beyond the matched simulations of 3.3%, 11.1%, and 8.2% was obtained for the hop, step, and jump, respectively. The optimised technique used symmetrical shoulder flexion whereas the tripl! e jumper had used an asymmetrical arm technique. This arm action put the leg extensors into slower concentric conditions allowing greater extensor torques to be produced. The main increases in work came at the joints of the stance leg but the largest increases in angular impulse came at the shoulder joints, indicating the importance of both measures when assessing the impact of individual joint actions on changes in technique. Possible benefits of the double-arm technique include: cushioning the stance leg during impact; raising the centre of mass of the body at takeoff; facilitating an increase in kinetic energy at takeoff; allowing a re-orientation of the body during flight.
  • Evaluation of extensional and torsional stiffness of single actin filaments by molecular dynamics analysis
    - J Biomech 43(16):3162-3167 (2010)
    It is essential to investigate the mechanical behaviour of cytoskeletal actin filaments in order to understand their critical role as mechanical components in various cellular functional activities. These actin filaments consisting of monomeric molecules function in the thermal fluctuations. Hence, it is important to understand their mechanical behaviour on the microscopic scale by comparing the stiffness based on thermal fluctuations with the one experimentally measured on the macroscopic scale. In this study, we perform a large-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulation for a half-turn structure of an actin filament. We analyse its longitudinal and twisting Brownian motions in equilibrium and evaluated its apparent extensional and torsional stiffness on the nanosecond scale. Upon increasing the sampling-window durations for analysis, the apparent stiffness gradually decreases and exhibits a trend to converge to a value that is close to the experimental value. This sugg! ests that by extrapolating the data obtained in the MD analysis, we can estimate the experimentally determined stiffness on the microsecond to millisecond scales. For shorter temporal scales, the apparent stiffness is larger than experimental values, indicating that fast, local motions of the molecular structure are dominant. To quantify the local structural changes within the filament on the nanosecond scale and investigate the molecular mechanisms, such as the binding of the actin-regulatory proteins to the filaments, it is preferable to analyse the mechanical behaviour on the nanometre and nanosecond scales using MD simulation.
  • European Society of Biomechanics S.M. Perren Award 2010: An adaptation mechanism for fibrous tissue to sustained shortening
    - J Biomech 43(16):3168-3176 (2010)
    The mechanism by which fibrous tissues adapt upon alterations in their mechanical environment remains unresolved. Here, we determine that periosteum in chick embryos resides in an identical mechanical state, irrespective of the developmental stage. This state is characterized by a residual tissue strain that corresponds to the strain in between the pliant and stiffer region of the force-strain curve. We demonstrate that periosteum is able to regain that mechanical equilibrium state in vitro, within three days upon perturbation of that equilibrium state. This adaptation process is not dependent on protein synthesis, because the addition of cycloheximide did not affect the response. However, a functional actin filament network is required, as is illustrated by a lack of adaptation in the presence of cytochalasin D. This led us to hypothesize that cells actively reduce collagen fiber crimp after tissue shortening, i.e. that in time the number of recruited fibers is increa! sed via cell contraction. Support for this mechanism is found by visualization of fiber crimp with multiphoton microscopy before the perturbation and at different time points during the adaptive response.
  • The biomechanical effects of limb lengthening and botulinum toxin type A on rabbit tendon
    - J Biomech 43(16):3177-3182 (2010)
    Numerous studies have examined the effects of distraction osteogenesis (DO) on bone, but relatively fewer have explored muscle adaptation, and even less have addressed the concomitant alterations that occur in the tendon. The purpose herein was to characterize the biomechanical properties of normal and elongated rabbit (N=20) tendons with and without prophylactic botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) treatment. Elastic and viscoelastic properties of Achilles and Tibialis anterior (TA) tendons were evaluated through pull to failure and stress relaxation tests. All TA tendons displayed nonlinear viscoelastic responses that were strain dependent. A power law formulation was used to model tendon viscoelastic responses and tendon elastic responses were fit with a microstructural model. Distraction-elongated tendons displayed increases in compliance and stress relaxation rates over undistracted tendons; BTX-A administration offset this result. The elastic moduli of distraction-lengthened TA tendons were diminished (p=0.010) when distraction was combined with gastrocnemius (GA) BTX-A administration, elastic moduli were further decreased (p=0.004) and distraction following TA BTX-A administration resulted in TA tendons with moduli not different from contralateral control (p>0.05). Compared to contralateral control, distraction and GA BTX-A administration displayed shortened toe regions, (p=0.031 and 0.038, respectively), while tendons receiving BTX-A in the TA had no differences in the toe region (p>0.05). Ultimate tensile stress was una! ltered by DO, but stress at the transition from the toe to the linear region of the stress–stretch curve was diminished in all distraction-elongated TA tendons (p<0.05). The data suggest that prophylactic BTX-A treatment to the TA protects some tendon biomechanical properties.
  • Epidermal differentiation governs engineered skin biomechanics
    - J Biomech 43(16):3183-3190 (2010)
    Engineered skin must be mechanically strong to facilitate surgical application and prevent damage during the early stages of engraftment. However, the evolution of structural properties during culture, the relative contributions of the epidermis and dermis, and any correlation with tissue morphogenesis are not well known. These aspects are investigated by assessing the mechanical properties of engineered skin (ES) and engineered dermis (ED) during a 21-day culture period, including correlations with cellular metabolism, cellular organization and epidermal differentiation. During culture, the epidermis differentiates and begins to cornify, as evidenced by immunostaining and surface electrical capacitance. Tensile testing reveals that the ultimate tensile strength and linear stiffness increase linearly with time for ES, but are relatively unchanged for ED. ES strength correlates significantly with epidermal differentiation (p<0.001) and a composite strength model indicat! es that strength is largely determined by the epidermis. These data suggest that strategies to improve ES biomechanics should target the dermis. Additionally, time-dependant changes in average ES strength and percent elongation can be used to set upper bound limits on mechanical stimulation profiles to avoid tissue damage.
  • Simulating avian wingbeat kinematics
    - J Biomech 43(16):3191-3198 (2010)
    Inverse dynamics methods are used to simulate avian wingbeats in varying flight conditions. A geometrically scalable multi-segment bird model is constructed, and optimisation techniques are employed to determine segment motions that generate desired aerodynamic force coefficients with minimal mechanical power output. The results show that wingbeat kinematics vary gradually with changes in cruise speed, which is consistent with experimental data. Optimised solutions for cruising flight of the pigeon suggest that upstroke wing retraction is used as a method of saving energy. Analysis of the aerodynamic force coefficient variation in high and low speed cruise leads to the proposal that a suitable gait metric should include both thrust and lift generation during each half-stroke.
  • A computational human model for exploring the role of the feet in balance
    - J Biomech 43(16):3199-3206 (2010)
    Many studies concerning human balance use computational models that represent the body as a single, double, or triple inverted pendulum while ignoring the feet. Clinical research, however, has begun to more closely examine specific contributions of the feet in balance, leading to a disparity between the state of clinical research and the models used for simulation. Here, we expand the single inverted pendulum model by adding four additional rigid links to represent the feet. Model parameters, equations of motion, actuation based on human musculature, and control based on proprioception are discussed. Computation of ground reaction forces under the heel, forefoot, and toes is also addressed. Simulations focusing on the role of the toes and toe muscles in static balance and forward leaning are presented.
  • A micromechanical model of skeletal muscle to explore the effects of fiber and fascicle geometry
    - J Biomech 43(16):3207-3213 (2010)
    Computational models of muscle generally lump the material properties of connective tissue, muscle fibers, and muscle fascicles together into one constitutive relationship that assumes a transversely isotropic microstructure. These models do not take into account how variations in the microstructure of muscle affect its macroscopic material properties. The goal of this work was to develop micromechanical models of muscle to determine the effects of variations in muscle microstructure on the macroscopic constitutive behavior. We created micromechanical models at the fiber and fascicle levels based on histological cross-sections of two rabbit muscles, the rectus femoris (RF) and the soleus, to determine the effects of microstructure geometry (fiber and fascicle shapes) on the along-fiber shear modulus of muscle. The two fiber-level models predicted similar macroscopic shear moduli (within 13.5% difference); however, the two fascicle-level models predicted very different ! macroscopic shear moduli (up to 161% difference). We also used the micromechanical models to test the assumption that the macroscopic properties of muscle are transversely isotropic about the fiber (or fascicle) direction. The fiber-level models exhibited behavior consistent with the transverse isotropy assumption; however, the fascicle-level models exhibited transversely anisotropic behavior. Micromechanical models, combined with fiber and fiber bundle mechanical experiments, are needed to understand how normal or pathological variations in microstructure give rise to the observed macroscopic behavior of muscle.
  • Validation of a posturographic approach to monitor sleepiness
    - J Biomech 43(16):3214-3216 (2010)
    Sleepiness is a major risk factor in traffic- and occupational accidents. While sleepiness is a persistent concern, there is no convenient test to monitor impending levels of sleepiness. We show that force platform posturographic balance testing addresses this need because it estimates time awake (TA) accurately and precisely. Testing the TA is appropriate because TA drives the sleep homeostatic process, a component in sleepiness. With 12 subjects we evaluated the accuracy and precision of repeated estimates of TA. Our extended study design that allows evaluating the accuracy and precision of posturographic TA-estimates is new. First, we tested the subjects' balance every 2 h during 36 h of sustained wakefulness. This comprised the subjects' reference curves (balance as a function of known and increasing TA). Then, we tested the subjects' balance once a day over one week. We also tested the subjects' balance once a week over one month. Finally, to estimate the ! subjects' TA, we equated the balance scores with the scores in their reference curves. The accuracy of the estimates was 86%, and the precision was 97%. The high accuracy and precision of the estimates obtained with this one-month protocol validates the method of posturographic monitoring of sleepiness. So far, force platform posturographic balance testing has generally been used for clinical purposes, to quantify balance control and musculoskeletal performance. Our main result is that we now validated that balance testing provides accurate and precise estimates of TA, and hence, also provides an approach towards an automated monitor of sleepiness.
  • Thermal effect on heart rate and hemodynamics in vitelline arteries of stage 18 chicken embryos
    - J Biomech 43(16):3217-3221 (2010)
    We investigated the thermal effects on heart rate, hemodynamics, and response of vitelline arteries of stage-18 chicken embryos. Heart rate was monitored by a high-speed imaging method, while hemodynamic quantities were evaluated using a particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique. Experiments were carried out at seven different temperatures (36–42 °C with 1 °C interval) after 1 h of incubation to stabilize the heart rate. The heart rate increased in a linear manner (r=0.992). Due to the increased cardiac output (or heart rate), the hemodynamic quantities such as mean velocity (Umean), velocity fluctuation (Ufluc), and peak velocity (Upeak) also increased with respect to the Womersley number (Ω) in the manner r=0.599, 0.693, and 0.725, respectively. This indicates that the mechanical force exerting on the vessel walls increases. However, the active response (or regulation) of the vitelline arteries was not observed in this study.
  • Measured and estimated ground reaction forces for multi-segment foot models
    - J Biomech 43(16):3222-3226 (2010)
    Accurate measurement of ground reaction forces under discrete areas of the foot is important in the development of more advanced foot models, which can improve our understanding of foot and ankle function. To overcome current equipment limitations, a few investigators have proposed combining a pressure mat with a single force platform and using a proportionality assumption to estimate subarea shear forces and free moments. In this study, two adjacent force platforms were used to evaluate the accuracy of the proportionality assumption on a three segment foot model during normal gait. Seventeen right feet were tested using a targeted walking approach, isolating two separate joints: transverse tarsal and metatarsophalangeal. Root mean square (RMS) errors in shear forces up to 6% body weight (BW) were found using the proportionality assumption, with the highest errors (peak absolute errors up to 12% BW) occurring between the forefoot and toes in terminal stance. The hallux! exerted a small braking force in opposition to the propulsive force of the forefoot, which was unaccounted for by the proportionality assumption. While the assumption may be suitable for specific applications (e.g. gait analysis models), it is important to understand that some information on foot function can be lost. The results help highlight possible limitations of the assumption. Measured ensemble average subarea shear forces during normal gait are also presented for the first time.
  • Gait alterations in rats following attachment of a device and application of altered knee loading
    - J Biomech 43(16):3227-3231 (2010)
    Animal models are widely used to study cartilage degeneration. Experimental interventions to alter contact mechanics in articular joints may also affect the loads borne by the leg during gait and consequently affect the overall loading experienced in the joint. In this study, force plate analyses were utilized to measure parameters of gait in the rear legs of adult rats following application of a varus loading device that altered loading in the knee. Adult rats were assigned to Control, Sham, or Loaded groups (n≥4/each). Varus loading devices were surgically attached to rats in the Sham and Loaded groups. In the Loaded group, this device applied a controlled compressive overload to the medial compartment of the knee during periods of engagement. Peak ground reaction forces during walking were recorded for each rear leg of each group. Analyses of variance were used to compare outcomes across groups (Control, Sham, and Loaded), leg (contralateral, experimental) and dev! ice status (disengaged, engaged) to determine the effects of surgically attaching the device and applying a compressive overload to the joint with the device. The mean peak vertical force in the experimental leg was reduced to 30% in the Sham group in comparison to the contralateral leg and the Control group, indicating an effect of attaching the device to the leg (p<0.01). No differences were found in ground reaction forces between the Sham and Loaded groups with application of compressive overloads with the device. The significant reduction in vertical force due to the surgical attachment of the varus loading device must be considered and accounted for in future studies.
  • A motion-decomposition approach to address gimbal lock in the 3-cylinder open chain mechanism description of a joint coordinate system at the glenohumeral joint
    - J Biomech 43(16):3232-3236 (2010)
    In this study, the standard-sequence properties of a joint coordinate system were implemented for the glenohumeral joint by the use of a set of instantaneous geometrical planes. These are: a plane that is bound by the humeral long axis and an orthogonal axis that is the cross product of the scapular anterior axis and this long axis, and a plane that is bounded by the long axis of the humerus and the cross product of the scapular lateral axis and this long axis. The relevant axes are updated after every decomposition of a motion component of a humeral position. Flexion, abduction and rotation are then implemented upon three of these axes and are applied in a step-wise uncoupling of an acquired humeral motion to extract the joint coordinate system angles. This technique was numerically applied to physiological kinematics data from the literature to convert them to the joint coordinate system and to visually reconstruct the motion on a set of glenohumeral bones for valida! tion.
  • Regulation of the patellofemoral contact area: An essential mechanism in patellofemoral joint mechanics?
    - J Biomech 43(16):3237-3239 (2010)
    Although the relationship between contact area and pressure under physiological loading has been described in the feline patellofemoral joint, this interaction has only been examined under simplified loading conditions and/or considerably lower forces than those occurring during demanding activities in humans. We hypothesized that patellofemoral contact area increases non-linearly under an increasing joint reaction force to regulate patellofemoral pressure. Eight human cadaveric knees were ramp loaded with muscle forces representative of the stance phase of stair climbing at 30° knee flexion. Continuous pressure data were acquired with a pressure sensitive film that was positioned within the patellofemoral joint. While pressure was linearly dependent upon the resulting joint reaction force, contact area asymptotically approached a maximum value and reached 95% of this maximum at patellofemoral forces of 349–723 N (95% CI). Our findings indicate that the regulatory i! nfluence of increasing contact area to protect against high patellofemoral pressure is exhausted at relatively low loads.
  • In vivo gait analysis in a mouse femur fracture model
    - J Biomech 43(16):3240-3243 (2010)
    Although the mouse has become a preferred species for molecular studies on fracture healing, gait analysis after fracture fixation and during bone healing has not yet been performed in mice. Herein, we introduce a novel technique for gait analysis in mice and report the change of motion pattern after fracture and fixation. A standardized femur fracture was stabilized by a common pin. The non-fractured tibia was additionally marked with a pin, allowing continuous analysis of the tibio-femoral angle by digital video-radiography. Dynamic gait analysis was performed at day fourteen after surgery in a radio-opaque running wheel. Fracture fixation resulted in a significantly reduced range and maximum of the tibio-femoral angle compared to non-fractured controls. This was associated with a significantly reduced stride length. Because stride frequency was slightly increased and, thus, stride time diminished, stride velocity was not significantly reduced compared to controls. T! hus, our study demonstrates distinct alterations of the gait of mice at 2 weeks after femur fracture and stabilization. Our results support the need of gait analysis in fracture healing studies to assess the animals' well-being.
  • Comments on "The equations of motion for a standing human reveal three mechanisms for balance" (A. Hof, Vol. 40, pp. 451–457)
    - J Biomech 43(16):3244-3247 (2010)
  • Reply to letter to the editor about () "The equations of motion for a standing human reveal three mechanisms for balance" by K. Halvorsen
    - J Biomech 43(16):3247-3248 (2010)
  • Comments on "A new method for gravity correction of dynamometer data and determining passive elastic moments at the joint"
    - J Biomech 43(16):3248-3249 (2010)
  • Response to: Comments on "A new method for gravity correction of dynamometer data and determining passive elastic moments at the joint"
    - J Biomech 43(16):3249-3250 (2010)
  • Volume 42, 2009. Author/Subject Index
    - J Biomech 43(16):3251-3269 (2010)

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