Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hot off the presses! Nov 16 J Biomech

The Nov 16 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(15):IFC (2010)
  • Calcium phosphate cement augmentation of cancellous bone screws can compensate for the absence of cortical fixation
    - J Biomech 43(15):2869-2874 (2010)
    An obvious means to improve the fixation of a cancellous bone screw is to augment the surrounding bone with cement. Previous studies have shown that bone augmentation with Calcium Phosphate (CaP) cement significantly improves screw fixation. Nevertheless, quantitative data about the optimal distribution of CaP cement is not available. The present study aims to show the effect of cement distribution on the screw fixation strength for various cortical thicknesses and to determine the conditions at which cement augmentation can compensate for the absence of cortical fixation in osteoporotic bone. In this study, artificial bone materials were used to mimic osteoporotic cancellous bone and cortical bone of varying thickness. These bone constructs were used to test the fixation strength of cancellous bone screws in different cortical thicknesses and different cement augmentation depths. The cement distribution was measured with microCT. The maximum pullout force was measured! experimentally. The microCT analysis revealed a pseudo-conic shape distribution of the cement around the screws. While the maximum pullout strength of the screws in the artificial bone only was 30±7 N, it could increase up to approximately 1000 N under optimal conditions. Cement augmentation significantly increased pullout force in all cases. The effect of cortical thickness on pullout force was reduced with increased cement augmentation depth. Indeed, cement augmentation without cortical fixation increased pullout forces over that of screws without cement augmentation but with cortical fixation. Since cement augmentation significantly increased pullout force in all cases, we conclude that the loss of cortical fixation can be compensated by cement augmentation.
  • Computational analysis of bone remodeling during an anterior cervical fusion
    - J Biomech 43(15):2875-2880 (2010)
    The anterior cervical fusion is an established surgical procedure for spine stabilization after the removal of an intervertebral disc. However, it is not yet clear which bone graft represents the best choice and whether surgical devices can be efficient and beneficial for fusion. The aim of this work is to study the influence of the spine instrumentation on bone remodeling after a cervical spine surgery and, consequently, on the fusion process. A finite element model of the cervical spine was developed, having computed tomography images as input. Bone was modeled as a porous material characterized by the relative density at each point and the bone remodeling law was derived assuming that bone self-adapts in order to achieve the stiffest structure for the supported loads, with the total bone mass regulated by the metabolic cost of maintaining bone tissue. Apart from the analysis of healthy cervical spine, different surgical scenarios were tested: bone graft with or with! out a cage and the use of a stabilization plate system. Results showed that the anterior and posterior regions of the disc space are more important to stress transmission and that spinal devices reduce bone growth within bone grafts, being plate systems the most interfering elements. The material of the interbody cages plays a major role in fusion and, therefore, it should be carefully chosen.
  • The epigenetic mechanism of mechanically induced osteogenic differentiation
    - J Biomech 43(15):2881-2886 (2010)
    Epigenetic regulation of gene expression occurs due to alterations in chromatin proteins that do not change DNA sequence, but alter the chromatin architecture and the accessibility of genes, resulting in changes to gene expression that are preserved during cell division. Through this process genes are switched on or off in a more durable fashion than other transient mechanisms of gene regulation, such as transcription factors. Thus, epigenetics is central to cellular differentiation and stem cell linage commitment. One such mechanism is DNA methylation, which is associated with gene silencing and is involved in a cell's progression towards a specific fate. Mechanical signals are a crucial regulator of stem cell behavior and important in tissue differentiation; however, there has been no demonstration of a mechanism whereby mechanics can affect gene regulation at the epigenetic level. In this study, we identified candidate DNA methylation sites in the promoter regions! of three osteogenic genes from bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). We demonstrate that mechanical stimulation alters their epigenetic state by reducing DNA methylation and show an associated increase in expression. We contrast these results with biochemically induced differentiation and distinguish expression changes associated with durable epigenetic regulation from those likely to be due to transient changes in regulation. This is an important advance in stem cell mechanobiology as it is the first demonstration of a mechanism by which the mechanical micro-environment is able to induce epigenetic changes that control osteogenic cell fate, and that can be passed to daughter cells. This is a first step to understanding that will be vital to successful bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, where continued expression of a desired long-term phenotype is crucial.
  • Study of an infant brain subjected to periodic motion via a custom experimental apparatus design and finite element modelling
    - J Biomech 43(15):2887-2896 (2010)
    This paper presents a rig that was specifically designed to simulate the shaking of mechanical models of biological systems, especially those related to shaken baby syndrome (SBS). The scope of this paper includes the testing of an anthropomorphic model that simulates an infant head and provides validation data for complex finite element (FE) modelling using three numerical methods (Lagrangian, Arbitrary-Lagrangian–Eulerian (ALE) and Eulerian method) for fluid structure coupling. The experiments for this study aim to provide an understanding of the influence of two factors on intracranial brain movement of the infant head during violent shaking: (1) the specific paediatric head structure: the anterior fontanelle and (2) the brain–skull interface. The results show that the Eulerian analysis method has significant advantages for the FSI modelling of brain–CSF–skull interactions over the more commonly used methods, e.g. the Lagrangian method. To the knowledge of the authors, this methodology has not been discussed in previous publication. The results indicate that the biomechanical investigation of SBS can provide more accurate results only if the skull with paediatric features and the brain–skull interface are correctly represented, which were overlooked in previous SBS studies.
  • A novel method of studying fascicle architecture in relaxed and contracted muscles
    - J Biomech 43(15):2897-2903 (2010)
    A muscle's architecture, described by geometric variables such as fascicle pennation angles or lengths, plays a crucial role in its functionality. Usually, single parameters are used to estimate force vectors or lengthening rates, thereby assuming that they represent the architecture properly and are constant during contraction. To describe muscle architecture in more detail and compare relaxed and contracted states, we developed and validated a new approach. The m. soleus of the laboratory rat was shock-frozen while relaxed and under isometric contraction, reconstructed three-dimensionally from histological sections, and fascicle lengths, curvatures and pennation angles, as well as the shape of the aponeuroses were analysed. Remarkable differences in volume distribution and the shapes of the aponeuroses as well as locally varying changes in the fascicle architecture were observed. While the mean pennation angle increased by only 2° due to contraction, local changes! of up to 4° were observed. Fascicle curvature increased in the distal but remained unchanged in the proximal parts. Our approach may help to identify functional subunits within the muscle, i.e., regions with homogeneous architectural properties. Our results are discussed regarding the input parameters essential for realistic muscle modelling and challenge maximum isometric force estimations that are based on the physiological cross-sectional area or the Hill-model.
  • The effect of altered loading following rotator cuff tears in a rat model on the regional mechanical properties of the long head of the biceps tendon
    - J Biomech 43(15):2904-2907 (2010)
    Biceps tendon pathology is a common clinical problem often seen in conjunction with rotator cuff tears. A previous study found detrimental changes to biceps tendons in the presence of rotator cuff tears in a rat model. Therefore, the objective of this study was to utilize this model along with models of altered loading to investigate the effect of altered loading on the initiation of these detrimental changes. We created supraspinatus and infraspinatus rotator cuff tears in the rat and followed these tears with either increased or decreased loading. Mechanical properties were determined along the length of the biceps tendon 4 and 8 weeks following injury. At the insertion site, stiffness increased with decreased loading, while detrimental changes were seen with increased loading 4 weeks following detachments. Increased loading resulted in decreased mechanical properties along the entire tendon length at both time points. Decreased loading resulted in both increased and! decreased tendon properties at different regions of the tendon at 4 weeks, but by 8 weeks, there were no differences between decreased loading and detachment alone. We could not conclude where changes begin in the tendon with altered loading, but did demonstrate that regional differences exist. These results support that there is an effect of altered loading, as decreased loading resulted in variable changes at 4 weeks that were no different from detachment alone by 8 weeks, and increased loading resulted in detrimental properties along the entire length at both 4 and 8 weeks.
  • Influence of the change in stem length on the load transfer and bone remodelling for a cemented resurfaced femur
    - J Biomech 43(15):2908-2914 (2010)
    The effect of a short-stem femoral resurfacing component on load transfer and potential failure mechanisms has rarely been studied. The stem length has been reduced by approximately 50% as compared to the current long-stem design. Using 3-D FE models of natural and resurfaced femurs, the study is aimed at investigating the influence of a short-stem resurfacing component on load transfer and bone remodelling. Applied loading conditions include normal walking and stair climbing. The mechanical role of the stem along with implant–cement and stem–bone contact conditions was observed to be crucial. Shortening the stem length to half of the current length (long-stem) led to several favourable effects, even though the stress distributions in the implant and the cement were similar in both the cases. The short-stem implant led not only to a more physiological stress distribution but also to bone apposition (increase of 20–70% bone density) in the superior resurfaced head! , when the stem–bone contact prevailed. This also led to a reduction in strain concentration in the cancellous bone around the femoral neck–component junction. The normalised peak strain in this region was lower for the short-stem design as compared to that of the long-stem one, thereby reducing the initial risk of neck fracture. The effect of strain shielding (50–75% reduction) was restricted to a small bone volume underlying the cement, which was approximately half of that of the long-stem design. Consequently, bone resorption was considerably less for the short-stem design. The short-stem design offers better prospects than the long-stem resurfacing component.
  • Three-dimensional motion of the upper extremity joints during various activities of daily living
    - J Biomech 43(15):2915-2922 (2010)
    Highly reliable information on the range of motion (ROM) required to perform activities of daily living (ADL) is important to allow rehabilitation professionals to make appropriate clinical judgments of patients with limited ROM of the upper extremity joints. There are, however, no data available that take full account of corrections for gimbal-lock and soft tissue artifacts, which affect estimation errors for joint angles. We used an electromagnetic three-dimensional tracking system (FASTRAK) to measure the three-dimensional ROM of the upper extremity joints of healthy adults (N=20, age range 18–34) during 16 ADL movement tasks. The ROM required for the performance of each movement was shown in terms of the joint angle at the completion of the task, using a new definition of joint angle and regression analysis to compensate for estimation errors. The results of this study may be useful in setting goals for the treatment of upper extremity joint function.
  • Subject-specific axes of the ankle joint complex
    - J Biomech 43(15):2923-2928 (2010)
    The aim of this study was to use a two-axis ankle joint model and an optimisation process (van den Bogert et al., 1994) to calculate and compare the talocrural and subtalar hinge axes for non-weight-bearing ankle motion, weight-bearing ankle motion, and walking in normal, healthy adult subjects and to see which of the first two sets of axes better fit the walking data. Motion data for the foot and shank were collected on eight subjects whilst they performed the activities mentioned. After choosing the best marker sets for motion tracking, a two-hinge ankle joint model was fit to the motion data. Ankle joint ranges of motion were also calculated. It was found that the model fit the experimental data well, with non-weight-bearing motion achieving the best fit. Despite this, the calculated axis orientations were highly variable both between motion types and between subjects. No significant difference between the fit of the non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing models to t! he walking data was found, which implies that either set of functional axes is adequate for modeling walking; however, the subtalar deviation angle was significantly closer for the weight-bearing activity and walking than for the non-weight-bearing activity and walking, which suggests that it is marginally better to use the weight-bearing functional motions. The results lead to questions about the appropriateness of the two-hinge ankle model for use in applications in which the behaviour of the individual joints of the ankle complex, rather than simply the relative motion of the leg and foot, is important.
  • Influence of simulated neuromuscular noise on movement variability and fall risk in a 3D dynamic walking model
    - J Biomech 43(15):2929-2935 (2010)
    People at risk of falling exhibit increased gait variability, which may predict future falls. However, the causal mechanisms underlying these correlations are not well known. Increased neuronal noise associated with aging likely leads to increased gait variability, which could in turn lead to increased fall risk. This paper presents a model of how changes in neuromuscular noise independently affect gait variability and probability of falling, and aims to determine the extent to which changes in gait variability directly predict fall risk. We used a dynamic walking model that incorporates a lateral step controller to maintain lateral stability. Noise was applied to this controller to approximate neuromuscular noise in humans. Noise amplitude was varied between low amplitudes that did not induce falls and high amplitudes for which the model always fell. With increases in noise amplitude, the model fell more often and after fewer steps. Gait variability increased with noi! se amplitude and predicted increased probability of falling. Importantly, these relationships were not linear. At either low gait variability or very high gait variability, small increases in noise and variability affected probability of falling very little. Conversely, at intermediate noise and/or variability levels, the same small increases resulted in large increases in probability of falling. Our results validate the idea that age-related increases in neuromuscular noise likely play a direct contributing role in increasing fall risk. However, neuromuscular noise remains only one of many important factors that need to be considered. These findings have important implications for fall prevention research and practice.
  • Low-level noise affects balance control differently when applied at different body parts
    - J Biomech 43(15):2936-2940 (2010)
    The main purpose of this study was to determine which body part is the best position to apply noise at so that balance control can be improved most. Twelve young healthy participants were recruited in this study. Balance control was assessed by center of pressure (COP) measures, which were collected when participants were blindfolded and stood upright quietly on a force platform. Low-level mechanical noise was separately applied at seven body parts during quiet upright stance, including the forehead, neck, shoulder, finger, abdomen, knee, and ankle. Results showed that dependent COP measures as a whole were not improved when noise was at the finger, shoulder, abdomen, knee, and ankle. In contrast, with the application of noise at the forehead and neck, the dependent COP measures as a whole significantly changed. The forehead appeared to be the better position at which noise should be applied, since the ANOVAs revealed that body sway significantly decreased with the app! lication of noise at the forehead. Findings from this study can aid in the development of noise-based intervention strategies aimed at improving balance. A possible intervention solution might be embedding noise-based devices into head belt.
  • A biomechanical analysis of venous tissue in its normal and post-phlebitic conditions
    - J Biomech 43(15):2941-2947 (2010)
    Although biomechanical studies of the normal rat vein wall have been reported ([Weizsacker, 1988] and [Plante, 2002]), there are no published studies that have investigated the mechanical effects of thrombus formation on murine venous tissue. In response to the lack of knowledge concerning the mechanical consequences of thrombus resolution, distinct thrombus-induced changes in the biomechanical properties of the murine vena cava were measured via biaxial stretch experiments. These data served as input for strain energy function (SEF) fitting and modeling (Gasser et al., 2006). Statistical differences were observed between healthy and diseased tissue with respect to the structural coefficient that represents the response of the non-collagenous, isotropic ground substance. Alterations following thrombus formation were also noted for the SEF coefficient which describes the anisotropic contribution of the fibers. The data indicate ligation of the vena cava leads to structu! ral alterations in the ground substance and collagen fiber network.
  • Partial medial meniscectomy and rotational differences at the knee during walking
    - J Biomech 43(15):2948-2953 (2010)
    Loss of meniscal function due to injury or partial meniscectomy is common and represents a significant risk factor for premature osteoarthritis. The menisci can influence the transverse plane movements (anterior–posterior (AP) translation and internal–external (IE) rotation) of the knee during walking. While walking is the most frequent activity of daily living, the kinematic differences at the knee during walking associated with the meniscal injury are not well understood. This study examined the influence of partial medial meniscectomy (PMM) on the kinematics and kinetics of the knee during the stance phase of gait by testing the differences in anterior–posterior translation, internal–external rotation, knee flexion range of movement, peak flexion/extension moments, and adduction moments between the PMM and healthy contralateral limbs. Ten patients (45±9 years old, height 1.75±0.06 m, weight 76.7±13.5 kg) who had undergone partial medial meniscectomy (33±! 100 months post-op) in one limb with a healthy contralateral limb were tested during normal walking. The contralateral limb was compared to a matched control group and no differences were found. The primary kinematic difference was a significantly greater external rotation (3.2°) of the tibia that existed through stance phase, with 8 of 10 subjects demonstrating the same pattern. The PMM subjects also exhibited significantly lower peak flexion and extension moments in their PMM limbs. The altered rotational position found likely results in changes of tibio-femoral contact during walking and could cause the type of degenerative changes found in the articular cartilage following meniscal injury.
  • Mechanical skin thinning-to-thickening transition observed in vivo through 2D high frequency elastography
    - J Biomech 43(15):2954-2962 (2010)
    This study was based on two dimensional (2D) high frequency elastography to describe quantitatively the mechanical behavior of the human dermis in vivo. The study was conducted on the forearm skin and elastographic tests were performed using a combination of two devices: an extensiometer developed for the in vivo study of the mechanical behavior of the skin using uniaxial stretching stress, and a 20 MHz real time sonographer (Dermcup 2020™) for ultrasound skin imaging. The staggered strain estimation algorithm (SSE) was used to produce elastograms. A temporal cumulative technique was applied to improve elastogram quality and to monitor variations in skin strain during stretching. The influence of the natural skin tension controlled by arm bending was studied and distinctive mechanical behavior was observed for low and high mechanical stress levels. In a preliminary analysis, the reproducibility of measurements was assessed by means of coefficient of variation (CV) in! 5 selected healthy volunteers.Finally, two hypotheses linked to the geometrical and structural properties of the dermis are proposed to account for the new findings described in this study.
  • Effect of a pedicle-screw-based motion preservation system on lumbar spine biomechanics: A probabilistic finite element study with subsequent sensitivity analysis
    - J Biomech 43(15):2963-2969 (2010)
    Pedicle-screw-based motion preservation systems are often used to support a slightly degenerated disc. Such implants are intended to reduce intradiscal pressure and facet joints forces, while having a minimal effect on the motion patterns. In a probabilistic finite element study with subsequent sensitivity analysis, the effects of 10 input parameters, such as elastic modulus and diameter of the elastic rod, distraction of the segment, level of bridged segments, etc. on the output parameters intervertebral rotations, intradiscal pressures, and facet joint forces were determined. A validated finite element model of the lumbar spine was employed. Probabilistic studies were performed for seven loading cases: upright standing, flexion, extension, left and right lateral bending and left and right axial rotation. The simulations show that intervertebral rotation angles, intradiscal pressures and facet joint forces are in most cases reduced by a motion preservation system. The influence on intradiscal pressure is small, except in extension. For many input parameter combinations, the values for intervertebral rotations and facet joint forces are very low, which indicates that the implant is too stiff in these cases. The output parameters are affected most by the following input parameters: loading case, elastic modulus and diameter of the elastic rod, distraction of the segment, and angular rigidity of the connection between screws and rod. The designated functions of a motion preservation system can best be achieved when the longitudinal rod has a low stiffness, and when the connection between rod and pedicle screws is rigid.
  • Wall shear over high degree stenoses pertinent to atherothrombosis
    - J Biomech 43(15):2970-2977 (2010)
    Atherothrombosis can induce acute myocardial infarction and stroke by progressive stenosis of a blood vessel lumen to full occlusion. Since thrombus formation and embolization may be shear-dependent, we quantify the magnitude of shear rates in idealized severely stenotic coronary arteries (≥75% by diameter) using computational fluid dynamics to characterize the shear environment that may exist during atherothrombosis. Maximum shear rates in severe short stenoses were found to exceed 250,000 s−1 (9500 dynes/cm2) and can reach a peak value of 425,000 s−1 for a 98% stenosis. These high shear rates exceed typical shear used for in vitro blood flow experiments by an order of magnitude, indicating the need to examine thrombosis at very high shear rates. Pulsatility and stenosis eccentricity were found to have minor effects on the maximum wall shear rates in severe stenoses. In contrast, increases in the stenosis length reduced the maximum shear to 107,000 s−1 (98% st! enosis), while surface roughness could increase focal wall shear rates to a value reaching 610,000 s−1 (90% stenosis). The "shear histories" of circulating platelets in these stenoses are far below reported activation thresholds. Platelets may be required to form bonds in 5 μs and resist shear forces reaching 8000 pN per platelet. Arterial thrombosis occurs in the face of pathological high shear stress, creating rapid and strong bonds without prior activation of circulating platelets.
  • Anisotropic and hyperelastic identification of in vitro human arteries from full-field optical measurements
    - J Biomech 43(15):2978-2985 (2010)
    In this paper, we present a new approach for the bi-axial characterization of in vitro human arteries and we prove its feasibility on an example. The specificity of the approach is that it can handle heterogeneous strain and stress distributions in arterial segments. From the full-field experimental data obtained in inflation/extension tests, an inverse approach, called the virtual fields method (VFM), is used for deriving the material parameters of the tested arterial segment. The obtained results are promising and the approach can effectively provide relevant values for the anisotropic hyperelastic properties of the tested sample.
  • Mechanical difference between white and gray matter in the rat cerebellum measured by scanning force microscopy
    - J Biomech 43(15):2986-2992 (2010)
    The mechanical properties of tissues are increasingly recognized as important cues for cell physiology and pathology. Nevertheless, there is a sparsity of quantitative, high-resolution data on mechanical properties of specific tissues. This is especially true for the central nervous system (CNS), which poses particular difficulties in terms of preparation and measurement. We have prepared thin slices of brain tissue suited for indentation measurements on the micrometer scale in a near-native state. Using a scanning force microscope with a spherical indenter of radius 20 μm we have mapped the effective elastic modulus of rat cerebellum with a spatial resolution of 100 μm. We found significant differences between white and gray matter, having effective elastic moduli of K=294±74 and 454±53 Pa, respectively, at 3 μm indentation depth (ng=245, nw=150 in four animals, p<0.05; errors are SD). In contrast to many other measurements on larger length scales, our results we! re constant for indentation depths of 2–4 μm indicating a regime of linear effective elastic modulus. These data, assessed with a direct mechanical measurement, provide reliable high-resolution information and serve as a quantitative basis for further neuromechanical investigations on the mechanical properties of developing, adult and damaged CNS tissue.
  • The effects of running in an exerted state on lower extremity kinematics and joint timing
    - J Biomech 43(15):2993-2998 (2010)
    Runners rarely run to the point of maximum fatigue or exhaustion. However, no studies have investigated how the level of exertion associated with a typical running session influences running mechanics. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects that running in an exerted state had on the kinematics and joint timing within the lower extremity of uninjured, recreational runners. Twenty runners performed a prolonged treadmill run at a self-selected pace that best represented each runner's typical training run. The run ended based on heart rate or perceived exertion levels that represented a typical training run. Kinematics and joint timing between the foot, knee, and hip were analyzed at the beginning and end of the run. Increases were primarily observed at the end of the run for the peak angles, excursions, and peak velocities of eversion, tibial internal rotation, and knee internal rotation. No differences were observed for knee flexion, hip internal rot! ation, or any joint timing relationship. Based on these results, runners demonstrated subtle changes in kinematics in the exerted state, most notably for eversion. However, runners were able to maintain joint timing throughout the leg, which may have been a function of the knee. Thus, uninjured runners normally experience small alterations in kinematics when running with typical levels of exertion. It remains unknown how higher levels of exertion influence kinematics with joint timing and the association with running injuries, or how populations with running injuries respond to typical levels of exertion.
  • 3D gait assessment in young and elderly subjects using foot-worn inertial sensors
    - J Biomech 43(15):2999-3006 (2010)
    This study describes the validation of a new wearable system for assessment of 3D spatial parameters of gait. The new method is based on the detection of temporal parameters, coupled to optimized fusion and de-drifted integration of inertial signals. Composed of two wirelesses inertial modules attached on feet, the system provides stride length, stride velocity, foot clearance, and turning angle parameters at each gait cycle, based on the computation of 3D foot kinematics. Accuracy and precision of the proposed system were compared to an optical motion capture system as reference. Its repeatability across measurements (test-retest reliability) was also evaluated. Measurements were performed in 10 young (mean age 26.1±2.8 years) and 10 elderly volunteers (mean age 71.6±4.6 years) who were asked to perform U-shaped and 8-shaped walking trials, and then a 6-min walking test (6 MWT). A total of 974 gait cycles were used to compare gait parameters with the reference syste! m. Mean accuracy±precision was 1.5±6.8 cm for stride length, 1.4±5.6 cm/s for stride velocity, 1.9±2.0 cm for foot clearance, and 1.6±6.1° for turning angle. Difference in gait performance was observed between young and elderly volunteers during the 6 MWT particularly in foot clearance. The proposed method allows to analyze various aspects of gait, including turns, gait initiation and termination, or inter-cycle variability. The system is lightweight, easy to wear and use, and suitable for clinical application requiring objective evaluation of gait outside of the lab environment.
  • Validation of the Delft Shoulder and Elbow Model using in-vivo glenohumeral joint contact forces
    - J Biomech 43(15):3007-3014 (2010)
    The Delft Shoulder and Elbow Model (DSEM), a large-scale musculoskeletal model, is used for the estimation of muscle and joint reaction forces in the shoulder and elbow complex. Although the model has been qualitatively verified using EMG-signals, quantitative validation has until recently not been feasible. The development of an instrumented shoulder endoprosthesis has now made this possible. To this end, motion data, EMG-signals, external forces, and in-vivo glenohumeral joint reaction forces (GH-JRF) were recorded for two patients with an instrumented shoulder hemi-arthroplasty, during dynamic tasks (including abduction and anteflexion) and force tasks with the arm held in a static position. Motions and external forces served as the model inputs to estimate the GH-JRF. In the modeling process, the effect of two different (stress and energy) optimization cost functions and uniform size and mass scaling were evaluated. The model-estimated GH-JRF followed the in-vivo m! easured force for dynamic tasks up to about 90° arm elevations, but generally underestimates the peak forces up to 31%; whereas a different behavior (ascending measured but descending estimated force) was found for angles above 90°. For the force tasks the model generally overestimated the peak GH-JRF for most directions (on average up to 34%). Applying the energy cost function improved model predictions for the dynamic anteflexion task (up to 9%) and for the force task (on average up to 23%). Scaling also led to improvement of the model predictions during the dynamic tasks (up to 26%), but had a negligible effect (<2%) on the force task results. Although results indicated a reasonable compatibility between model and measured data, adjustments will be necessary to individualize the generic model with the patient-specific characteristics.
  • Membrane stretch and cytoplasmic Ca2+ independently modulate stretch-activated BK channel activity
    - J Biomech 43(15):3015-3019 (2010)
    Large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channels are responsible for changes in chemical and physical signals such as Ca2+, Mg2+ and membrane potentials. Previously, we reported that a BK channel cloned from chick heart (SAKCaC) is activated by membrane stretch. Molecular cloning and subsequent functional characterization of SAKCaC have shown that both the membrane stretch and intracellular Ca2+ signal allosterically regulate the channel activity via the linker of the gating ring complex. Here we investigate how these two gating principles interact with each other. We found that stretch force activated SAKCaC in the absence of cytoplasmic Ca2+. Lack of Ca2+ bowl (a calcium binding motif) in SAKCaC diminished the Ca2+-dependent activation, but the mechanosensitivity of channel was intact. We also found that the abrogation of STREX (a proposed mechanosensing apparatus) in SAKCaC abolished the mechanosensitivity without altering the Ca2+ sensitivity of channels. These ob! servations indicate that membrane stretch and intracellular Ca2+ could independently modulate SAKCaC activity.
  • Foot forces during exercise on the International Space Station
    - J Biomech 43(15):3020-3027 (2010)
    Long-duration exposure to microgravity has been shown to have detrimental effects on the human musculoskeletal system. To date, exercise countermeasures have been the primary approach to maintain bone and muscle mass and they have not been successful. Up until 2008, the three exercise countermeasure devices available on the International Space Station (ISS) were the treadmill with vibration isolation and stabilization (TVIS), the cycle ergometer with vibration isolation and stabilization (CEVIS), and the interim resistance exercise device (iRED). This article examines the available envelope of mechanical loads to the lower extremity that these exercise devices can generate based on direct in-shoe force measurements performed on the ISS. Four male crewmembers who flew on long-duration ISS missions participated in this study. In-shoe forces were recorded during activities designed to elicit maximum loads from the various exercise devices. Data from typical exercise sessi! ons on Earth and on-orbit were also available for comparison. Maximum on-orbit single-leg loads from TVIS were 1.77 body weight (BW) while running at 8 mph. The largest single-leg forces during resistance exercise were 0.72 BW during single-leg heel raises and 0.68 BW during double-leg squats. Forces during CEVIS exercise were small, approaching only 0.19 BW at 210 W and 95 RPM. We conclude that the three exercise devices studied were not able to elicit loads comparable to exercise on Earth, with the exception of CEVIS at its maximal setting. The decrements were, on average, 77% for walking, 75% for running, and 65% for squats when each device was at its maximum setting. Future developments must include an improved harness to apply higher gravity replacement loads during locomotor exercise and the provision of greater resistance exercise capability. The present data set provides a benchmark that will enable future researchers to judge whether or not the new generation of ex! ercise countermeasures recently added to the ISS will address ! the need for greater loading.
  • The effect of cement creep and cement fatigue damage on the micromechanics of the cement–bone interface
    - J Biomech 43(15):3028-3034 (2010)
    The cement–bone interface provides fixation for the cement mantle within the bone. The cement–bone interface is affected by fatigue loading in terms of fatigue damage or microcracks and creep, both mostly in the cement. This study investigates how fatigue damage and cement creep separately affect the mechanical response of the cement–bone interface at various load levels in terms of plastic displacement and crack formation. Two FEA models were created, which were based on micro-computed tomography data of two physical cement–bone interface specimens. These models were subjected to tensile fatigue loads with four different magnitudes. Three deformation modes of the cement were considered: 'only creep', 'only damage' or 'creep and damage'. The interfacial plastic deformation, the crack reduction as a result of creep and the interfacial stresses in the bone were monitored. The results demonstrate that, although some models failed early, the majority of! plastic displacement was caused by fatigue damage, rather than cement creep. However, cement creep does decrease the crack formation in the cement up to 20%. Finally, while cement creep hardly influences the stress levels in the bone, fatigue damage of the cement considerably increases the stress levels in the bone. We conclude that at low load levels the plastic displacement is mainly caused by creep. At moderate to high load levels, however, the plastic displacement is dominated by fatigue damage and is hardly affected by creep, although creep reduced the number of cracks in moderate to high load region.
  • Finite element analysis of an accordion-like honeycomb scaffold for cardiac tissue engineering
    - J Biomech 43(15):3035-3043 (2010)
    Optimizing the function of tissue engineered cardiac muscle is becoming more feasible with the development of microfabricated scaffolds amenable to mathematical modeling. In the current study, the elastic behavior of a recently developed poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) accordion-like honeycomb (ALH) scaffold [Engelmayr et al., 2008. Nature Materials 7 (12), 1003–1010] was analyzed. Specifically, 2D finite element (FE) models of the ALH unit cell (periodic boundary conditions) and tessellations (kinematic uniform boundary conditions) were utilized to determine a representative volume element (RVE) and to retrospectively predict the elastic effective stiffnesses. An RVE of 90 ALH unit cells was found, indicating that previous experimental uni-axial test samples were mechanically representative. For ALH scaffolds microfabricated from PGS cured 7.5 h at 160 °C, FE predicted effective stiffnesses in the two orthogonal material directions (0.081±0.012 and 0.033±0.005 MPa! ) matched published experimental data (0.083±0.004 and 0.031±0.002 MPa) within 2.4% and 6.4%. Of potential use as a design criterion, model predicted global strain amplifications were lower in ALH (0.54 and 0.34) versus rectangular honeycomb (1.19 and 0.74) scaffolds, appearing to be inversely correlated with previously measured strains-to-failure. Important in matching the anisotropic mechanical properties of native cardiac muscle, FE predicted ALH scaffolds with wide PGS struts to be maximally anisotropic. The FE model will thus be useful in designing future variants of the ALH pore geometry that simultaneously provide proper cardiac anisotropy and reduced stiffness to enhance heart cell-mediated contractility.
  • High strain rate response of rabbit femur bones
    - J Biomech 43(15):3044-3050 (2010)
    Strain rate dependence of the mechanical response of hard tissues has led to a keen interest in their dynamic properties. The current study attempts to understand the high strain rate characteristics of rabbit femur bones. The testing was conducted using a split-Hopkinson pressure bar equipped with a high speed imaging system to capture the fracture patterns. The bones were also characterized under quasi-static compression to enable comparison with the high strain rate results. The quasi-static compressive moduli of the epiphyseal and diaphyseal regions were measured to be in the range of 2–3 and 5–7 GPa, respectively. Under high strain rate loading conditions the modulus is observed to increase with strain rate and attains values as high as 15 GPa for epiphyseal and 30 GPa for diaphyseal regions of the femur. The strength at high strain rate was measured to be about twice the quasi-static strength value. A large number of small cracks initiated on the specimen sur! face close to the incident bar. Coalescence of crack branches leading to fewer large cracks resulted in specimen fragmentation. In comparison, the quasi-static failure was due to shear cracking.
  • Evaluation of waist-mounted tri-axial accelerometer based fall-detection algorithms during scripted and continuous unscripted activities
    - J Biomech 43(15):3051-3057 (2010)
    It is estimated that by 2050 more than one in five people will be aged 65 or over. In this age group, falls are one of the most serious life-threatening events that can occur. Their automatic detection would help reduce the time of arrival of medical attention, thus reducing the mortality rate and in turn promoting independent living. This study evaluated a variety of existing and novel fall-detection algorithms for a waist-mounted accelerometer based system. In total, 21 algorithms of varying degrees of complexity were tested against a comprehensive data-set recorded from 10 young healthy volunteers performing 240 falls and 120 activities of daily living (ADL) and 10 elderly healthy volunteers performing 240 scripted ADL and 52.4 waking hours of continuous unscripted normal ADL. Results show that using an algorithm that employs thresholds in velocity, impact and posture (velocity+impact+posture) achieves 100% specificity and sensitivity with a false-positive rate of less than 1 false-positive (0.6 false-positives) per day of waking hours. This algorithm is the most suitable method of fall-detection, when tested using continuous unscripted activities performed by elderly healthy volunteers, which is the target environment for a fall-detection device.
  • Increased mechanosensitivity of cells cultured on nanotopographies
    - J Biomech 43(15):3058-3062 (2010)
    Enhancing cellular mechanosensitivity is recognized as a novel tool for successful musculoskeletal tissue engineering. We examined the hypothesis that mechanosensitivity of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) is enhanced on nanotopographic substrates relative to flat surfaces. hMSCs were cultured on polymer-demixed, randomly distributed nanoisland surfaces with varying island heights and changes in intracellular calcium concentration, [Ca2+]i, in response to fluid flow induced shear stress were quantifide. Stem cells cultured on specific scale nanotopographies displayed greater intracellular calcium responses to fluid flow. hMSCs cultured on 10–20 nm high nanoislands displayed a greater percentage of cells responding in calcium relative to cells cultured on flat control, and showed greater average [Ca2+]i increase relative to cells cultured on other nanoislands (45–80 nm high nanoislands). As [Ca2+]i is an important regulator of downstream signaling, as well as pr! oliferation and differentiation of hMSCs, this observation suggests that specific scale nanotopographies provide an optimal milieu for promoting stem cell mechanotransduction activity. That mechanical signals and substrate nanotopography may synergistically regulate cell behavior is of significant interest in the development of regenerative medicine protocols.
  • An activatable molecular spring reduces muscle tearing during extreme stretching
    - J Biomech 43(15):3063-3066 (2010)
    The purpose of this study was to determine failure stresses and failure lengths of actively and passively stretched myofibrils. As expected, myofibrils failed at average sarcomere lengths (about 6–7 μm) that vastly exceeded sarcomere lengths at which actin–myosin filament overlap ceases to exist (4 μm) and thus actin–myosin-based cross-bridge forces are zero at failure. Surprisingly, however, actively stretched myofibrils had much greater failure stresses and failure energies than passively stretched myofibrils, thereby providing compelling evidence for strong force production independent of actin–myosin-based cross-bridge forces. Follow-up experiments in which titin was deleted and cross-bridge formation was inhibited at high and low calcium concentrations point to titin as the regulator of this force, independent of calcium. The results of this study point to a mechanism of force production that reduces stretch-induced muscle damage at extreme length and li! mits injury and force loss within physiologically relevant ranges of sarcomere and muscle lengths.
  • Determination of toe-off event time during treadmill locomotion using kinematic data
    - J Biomech 43(15):3067-3069 (2010)
    Researchers collecting gait kinematic data during treadmill locomotion are often interested in determining the times of toe off and heel strike for each stride. In the absence of additional hardware, only position data collected with motion-capture equipment may be available. Others have published methods for using kinematic data for detecting overground gait events. However, during treadmill locomotion, especially running, overground methods may not possess sufficient accuracy. The purpose of this paper is to describe a method for using kinematic data to determine the time of toe off during treadmill locomotion. Ten subjects walked and ran on a treadmill while a motion-capture system collected positional data from heel and toe markers. The treadmill was equipped with force platforms that allowed an accurate determination of foot-ground contact. The time of toe off was determined using the vertical component of the toe marker, and this method was found to have greater ! accuracy for event detection than other published methods. Researchers can use the described method to determine times of heel strike and toe off during treadmill locomotion using only kinematic data.
  • 'Contributions of individual muscles to hip joint contact force in normal walking' by T.A. Correa, K.M. Crossley, H.J. Kim and M.G. Pandy
    - J Biomech 43(15):3070 (2010)
  • Response to comment on "Contributions of individual muscles to hip joint contact force in normal walking [J. Biomech. 43 (2010) 1618–1622]"
    - J Biomech 43(15):3070-3071 (2010)

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