Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hot off the presses! Feb 03 J Biomech

The Feb 03 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 44(3):IFC (2011)
  • Measurement of in vivo anterior cruciate ligament strain during dynamic jump landing
    - J Biomech 44(3):365-371 (2011)
    Despite recent attention in the literature, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury mechanisms are controversial and incidence rates remain high. One explanation is limited data on in vivo ACL strain during high-risk, dynamic movements. The objective of this study was to quantify ACL strain during jump landing. Marker-based motion analysis techniques were integrated with fluoroscopic and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques to measure dynamic ACL strain non-invasively. First, eight subjects' knees were imaged using MR. From these images, the cortical bone and ACL attachment sites of the tibia and femur were outlined to create 3D models. Subjects underwent motion analysis while jump landing using reflective markers placed directly on the skin around the knee. Next, biplanar fluoroscopic images were taken with the markers in place so that the relative positions of each marker to the underlying bone could be quantified. Numerical optimization allowed jumping kinem! atics to be superimposed on the knee model, thus reproducing the dynamic in vivo joint motion. ACL length, knee flexion, and ground reaction force were measured. During jump landing, average ACL strain peaked 55±14 ms (mean and 95% confidence interval) prior to ground impact, when knee flexion angles were lowest. The peak ACL strain, measured relative to its length during MR imaging, was 12±7%. The observed trends were consistent with previously described neuromuscular patterns. Unrestricted by field of view or low sampling rate, this novel approach provides a means to measure kinematic patterns that elevate ACL strains and that provide new insights into ACL injury mechanisms.
  • Time course and extent of functional recovery during the first postoperative year after minimally invasive total hip arthroplasty with two different surgical approaches—a randomized controlled trial
    - J Biomech 44(3):372-378 (2011)
    While others have reported short-term comparisons between various minimally invasive surgical (MIS) approaches to total hip arthroplasty (THA) and their conventional analogues, longer-term data is lacking, as is information indicating whether MIS approaches to THA provide a biomechanically complete recovery. Furthermore, different MIS approaches have not been compared. Our approaches of interest were a one-incision modified Watson-Jones, and a two-incision approach. Hypotheses: (1) There are significant differences in gait recovery patterns between the two surgical groups and (2) THA subjects have significant differences in function one year after surgery compared to control subjects. To test these hypotheses, THA candidates (n=26) were randomized to receive one of these MIS approaches and evaluated preoperatively, and postoperatively at 3 weeks, and at 3, 6 and 12 months. Evaluations included three-dimensional gait analysis and 24-hour step-counts. The same data were ! obtained from 25 control subjects. Recovery time-course was assessed using repeated measures ANOVA. T-tests were used to compare controls with the pooled group of THA subjects. We found no differences between the two THA surgical groups regarding the time-course of recovery (p≥0.591). Although recovery was statistically complete by 3 months postoperatively for all variables, there were significant differences from controls at 12 months. Most notably, the external hip adduction moment, which reflects hip abductor function, was more than one standard deviation below normal (p<0.001). THA subject inactivity could not explain the gait differences, since one year after surgery daily step counts were not significantly different from controls (p=0.346). More work is necessary to determine ways to improve biomechanical outcomes for today's patients with high expectations for function and implant longevity.
  • Differences in whole-body angular momentum between below-knee amputees and non-amputees across walking speeds
    - J Biomech 44(3):379-385 (2011)
    Unilateral, below-knee amputees have an increased risk of falling compared to non-amputees. The regulation of whole-body angular momentum is important for preventing falls, but little is known about how amputees regulate angular momentum during walking. This study analyzed three-dimensional, whole-body angular momentum at four walking speeds in 12 amputees and 10 non-amputees. The range of angular momentum in all planes significantly decreased with increasing walking speed for both groups. However, the range of frontal-plane angular momentum was greater in amputees compared to non-amputees at the first three walking speeds. This range was correlated with a reduced second vertical ground reaction force peak in both the intact and residual legs. In the sagittal plane, the amputee range of angular momentum in the first half of the residual leg gait cycle was significantly larger than in the non-amputees at the three highest speeds. In the second half of the gait cycle, th! e range of sagittal-plane angular momentum was significantly smaller in amputees compared to the non-amputees at all speeds. Correlation analyses suggested that the greater range of angular momentum in the first half of the amputee gait cycle is associated with reduced residual leg braking and that the smaller range of angular momentum in the second half of the gait cycle is associated with reduced residual leg propulsion. Thus, reducing residual leg braking appears to be a compensatory mechanism to help regulate sagittal-plane angular momentum over the gait cycle, but may lead to an increased risk of falling.
  • The effects of estrogen deficiency and bisphosphonate treatment on tissue mineralisation and stiffness in an ovine model of osteoporosis
    - J Biomech 44(3):386-390 (2011)
    While much research has been dedicated to understanding osteoporosis, the nature of mineral distribution and the mechanical property variation in diseased bone is poorly understood. The current study aimed to determine the effect of estrogen deficiency and bisphosphonate therapy on bone tissue properties using an ovine model of osteoporosis. Skeletally mature animals (4+ years) were divided into an ovariectomy group (ovx, n=20) and a non treatment control group (control, n=20). A zoledronic acid treated group was also included in which animals were estrogen deficient for 20 months prior to receiving treatment (Zol, n=4). Half of the control and ovx groups were euthanized 12 or 31 months post-operatively and all Zol animals were euthanised at 31 months. Individual trabeculae were removed from the proximal femur and were analysed at specific locations across the width of the trabeculae. The mineral content was measured using quantitative backscatter electron imaging and ! the modulus was measured using nanoindentation. The spatial distribution of tissue modulus and mineral content in bone from ovariectomised animals was similar to control. However, ovariectomy significantly reduced the overall mineral content and tissue modulus relative to the control group after 12 months. Interestingly, significant differences were not maintained 31 months post-OVX. Treatment with zoledronic acid increased the mineral content and tissue modulus relative to both the ovariectomised and control groups. Zoledronic acid was also found to alter the mineral and modulus gradients normally associated with healthy bone tissue. The current study provides evidence that both estrogen deficiency and zoledronic acid therapy significantly alter mineral content and the mechanical properties of trabecular tissue.
  • Effects of tissue preservation temperature on high strain-rate material properties of brain
    - J Biomech 44(3):391-396 (2011)
    Postmortem preservation conditions may be one of factors contributing to wide material property variations in brain tissues in literature. The objective of present study was to determine the effects of preservation temperatures on high strain-rate material properties of brain tissues using the split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB). Porcine brains were harvested immediately after sacrifice, sliced into 2 mm thickness, preserved in ice cold (group A, 10 samples) and 37 °C (group B, 9 samples) saline solution and warmed to 37 °C just prior to the test. A SHPB with tube aluminum transmission bar and semi-conductor strain gauges were used to enhance transmitted wave signals. Data were gathered using a digital acquisition system and processed to obtain stress–strain curves. All tests were conducted within 4 h postmortem. The mean strain-rate was 2487±72 s−1. A repeated measures model with specimen-level random effects was used to analyze log transformed stress–strain ! responses through the entire loading range. The mean stress–strain curves with ±95% confidence bands demonstrated typical power relationships with the power value of 2.4519 (standard error, 0.0436) for group A and 2.2657 (standard error, 0.0443) for group B, indicating that responses for the two groups are significantly different. Stresses and tangent moduli rose with increasing strain levels in both groups. These findings indicate that storage temperatures affected brain tissue material properties and preserving tissues at 37 °C produced a stiffer response at high strain-rates. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate material properties obtained from appropriately preserved tissues to accurately predict the responses of brain using stress analyses models, such as finite element simulations.
  • Characterization of muscle architecture in children and adults using magnetic resonance elastography and ultrasound techniques
    - J Biomech 44(3):397-401 (2011)
    The purpose of this study is to characterize the muscle architecture of children and adults using magnetic resonance elastography and ultrasound techniques. Five children (8–12 yr) and seven adults (24–58 yr) underwent both tests on the vastus medialis muscle at relaxed and contracted (10% and 20% of MVC) states. Longitudinal ultrasonic images were performed in the same area as the phase image showing the shear wave's propagation. Two geometrical parameters were defined: the wave angle (α_MRE) corresponding to the shear wave propagation and the fascicule angle (α_US) tracking the path of fascicles. Moreover, shear modulus was measured at different localizations within the muscle and in the subcutaneous adipose tissue. The association of both techniques demonstrates that the shear wave propagation follows the muscle fascicles path, reflecting the internal muscle architecture. At rest, ultrasound images revealed waves propagating parallel to the children fascicle while adults showed oblique waves corresponding to already oriented (α_US=15.4±2.54°) muscle fascicles. In contraction, the waves' propagation were in an oblique direction for children (α_US_10%MVC=10.6±2.27°, α_US_20%MVC=10.2±2.29°) as well as adults (α_US_10%MVC=15.4±2.54°, α_US_20%MVC=17.2±2.44°). A stiffness variation (1 kPa) was found between the upper and lower parts of the adult VM muscle and a lower stiffness (1.85±0.17 kPa) was measured in the subcutaneous adipose tissue. This study demonstrates the feasibility of the MRE technique to provide geometrical insights from the children and adults muscles and to characterize different physiological media.
  • Mineral heterogeneity affects predictions of intratrabecular stress and strain
    - J Biomech 44(3):402-407 (2011)
    Knowledge of the influence of mineral variations (i.e., mineral heterogeneity) on biomechanical bone behavior at the trabecular level is limited. The aim of this study is to investigate how this material property affects the intratrabecular distributions of stress and strain in human adult trabecular bone. Two different sets of finite element (FE) models of trabecular samples were constructed; tissue stiffness was either scaled to the local degree of mineralization of bone as measured with microCT (heterogeneous) or tissue stiffness was assumed to be homogeneous. The influence of intratrabecular mineral heterogeneity was analyzed by comparing both models. Interesting effects were seen regarding intratrabecular stress and strain distributions. In the homogeneous model, the highest stresses were found at the surface with a significant decrease towards the core. Higher superficial stresses could indicate a higher predicted fracture risk in the trabeculae. In the heterogen! eous model this pattern was different. A significant increase in stress with increasing distance from the trabecular surface was found followed by a significant decrease towards the core. This suggests trabecular bending during a compression. In both models a decrease in strain values from surface to core was predicted, which is consistent with trabecular bending. When mineral heterogeneity was taken into account, the predicted intratrabecular patterns of stress and strain are more consistent with the expected biomechanical behavior as based on mineral variations in trabeculae. Our findings indicate that mineral heterogeneity should not be neglected when performing biomechanical studies on topics such as the (long-term or dose dependent) effects of antiresorptive treatments.
  • Non-invasive determination of coupled motion of the scapula and humerus—An in-vitro validation
    - J Biomech 44(3):408-412 (2011)
    Measuring the motion of the scapula and humerus with sub-millimeter levels of accuracy in six-degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) is a challenging problem. The current methods to measure shoulder joint motion via the skin do not produce clinically significant levels of accuracy. Thus, the purpose of this study was to validate a non-invasive markerless dual fluoroscopic imaging system (DFIS) model-based tracking technique for measuring dynamic in-vivo shoulder kinematics. Our DFIS tracks the positions of bones based on their projected silhouettes to contours on recorded pairs of fluoroscopic images. For this study, we compared markerlessly tracking the bones of the scapula and humerus to track them with implanted titanium spheres using a radiostereometric analysis (RSA) while manually manipulating a cadaver specimen's arms. Additionally, we report the repeatability of the DFIS to track the scapula and humerus during dynamic shoulder motion. The difference between the markerles! s model-based tracking technique and the RSA was ±0.3 mm in translation and ±0.5° in rotation. Furthermore, the repeatability of the markerless DFIS model-based tracking technique for the scapula and humerus was ±0.2 mm and ±0.4°, respectively. The model-based tracking technique achieves an accuracy that is similar to an invasive RSA tracking technique and is highly suited for non-invasively studying the in-vivo motion of the shoulder. This technique could be used to investigate the scapular and humeral biomechanics in both healthy individuals and in patients with various pathologies under a variety of dynamic shoulder motions encountered during the activities of daily living.
  • Hyperelastic properties of human meniscal attachments
    - J Biomech 44(3):413-418 (2011)
    Meniscal attachments are ligamentous tissues anchoring the menisci to the underlying subchondral bone. Currently little is known about the behavior of meniscal attachments, with only a few studies quantitatively documenting their properties. The objective of this study was to quantify and compare the tensile mechanical properties of human meniscal attachments in the transverse direction, curve fit experimental Cauchy stress–stretch data to evaluate the hyperelastic behavior, and couple these results with previously obtained longitudinal data to generate a more complete constitutive model. Meniscal attachment specimens were tested using a uniaxial tension test with the collagen fibers oriented perpendicular to the loading axis. Tests were run until failure and load-optical displacement data was recorded for each test. The medial posterior attachment was shown to have a significantly greater elastic modulus (6.42±0.78 MPa) and ultimate stress (1.73±0.32 MPa) when com! pared to the other three attachments. The Mooney–Rivlin material model was selected as the best fit for the transverse data and used in conjunction with the longitudinal data. A novel computational approach to determining the transition point between the toe and linear regions is presented for the hyperelastic stress–stretch curves. Results from piece-wise non-linear longitudinal curve fitting correlate well with previous linear elastic and SEM findings. These data can be used to advance the design of meniscal replacements and improve knee joint finite element models.
  • Rheology of the vitreous gel: Effects of macromolecule organization on the viscoelastic properties
    - J Biomech 44(3):419-423 (2011)
    The macromolecular organization of vitreous gel is responsible for its viscoelastic properties. Knowledge of this correlation enables us to relate the physical properties of vitreous to its pathology, as well as optimize surgical procedures such as vitrectomy. Herein, we studied the rheological properties (e.g. dynamic deformation, shear stress–strain flow, and creep compliance) of porcine vitreous humor using a stressed-control shear rheometer. All experiments were performed in a closed environment with the temperature set to that of the human body (i.e. 37 °C) to mimic in-vivo conditions. We modeled the creep deformation using the two-element retardation spectrum model. By associating each element of the model to an individual biopolymeric system in the vitreous gel, a distinct response to the applied stress was observed from each component. We hypothesized that the first viscoelastic response with the short time scale (1 s) is associated with the collagen structu! re, while the second viscoelastic response with longer time scale (100 s) is related to the microfibrilis and hyaluronan network. Consequently, we were able to differentiate the role of each main component from the overall viscoelastic properties.
  • Ultrasound echo is related to stress and strain in tendon
    - J Biomech 44(3):424-429 (2011)
    The mechanical behavior of tendons has been well studied in vitro. A noninvasive method to acquire mechanical data would be highly beneficial. Elastography has been a promising method of gathering in vivo tissue mechanical behavior, but it has inherent limitations. This study presents acoustoelasticity as an alternative ultrasound-based method of measuring tendon stress and strain by reporting a relationship between ultrasonic echo intensity (B-mode ultrasound image brightness) and mechanical behavior of tendon in vitro. Porcine digital flexor tendons were cyclically loaded in a mechanical testing system while an ultrasonic echo response was recorded. We report that echo intensity closely follows the applied cyclic strain pattern in time with higher strain protocols resulting in larger echo intensity changes. We also report that echo intensity is related nonlinearly to stress and nearly linearly to strain. This indicates that ultrasonic echo intensity is related to the! mechanical behavior in a loaded tissue by an acoustoelastic response, as previously described in homogeneous, nearly incompressible materials. Acoustoelasticity is therefore able to relate strain-dependent stiffness and stress to the reflected echo, even in the processed B-mode signals reflected from viscoelastic and inhomogeneous material such as tendon, and is a promising metric to acquire in vivo mechanical data noninvasively.
  • Mechanics of biting in great white and sandtiger sharks
    - J Biomech 44(3):430-435 (2011)
    Although a strong correlation between jaw mechanics and prey selection has been demonstrated in bony fishes (Osteichthyes), how jaw mechanics influence feeding performance in cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) remains unknown. Hence, tooth shape has been regarded as a primary predictor of feeding behavior in sharks. Here we apply Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to examine form and function in the jaws of two threatened shark species, the great white (Carcharodon carcharias) and the sandtiger (Carcharias taurus). These species possess characteristic tooth shapes believed to reflect dietary preferences. We show that the jaws of sandtigers and great whites are adapted for rapid closure and generation of maximum bite force, respectively, and that these functional differences are consistent with diet and dentition. Our results suggest that in both taxa, insertion of jaw adductor muscles on a central tendon functions to straighten and sustain muscle fibers to nearly orthogo! nal insertion angles as the mouth opens. We argue that this jaw muscle arrangement allows high bite forces to be maintained across a wider range of gape angles than observed in mammalian models. Finally, our data suggest that the jaws of sub-adult great whites are mechanically vulnerable when handling large prey. In addition to ontogenetic changes in dentition, further mineralization of the jaws may be required to effectively feed on marine mammals. Our study is the first comparative FEA of the jaws for any fish species. Results highlight the potential of FEA for testing previously intractable questions regarding feeding mechanisms in sharks and other vertebrates.
  • Pole vault performance for anthropometric variability via a dynamical optimal control model
    - J Biomech 44(3):436-441 (2011)
    Optimal performance of a dynamical pole vault process was modeled as a constrained nonlinear optimization problem. That is, given a vaulter's anthropomorphic data and approach speed, the vaulter chose a specific take-off angle, pole stiffness and gripping height in order to yield the greatest jumping height compromised by feasible bar-crossing velocities. The optimization problem was solved by nesting a technique of searching an input-to-output mapping arising from the vaulting trajectory and a method of nonlinear sequential quadratic programming (SQP). It was suggested from the optimization results that the body's weight has an important influence on the vaulting performance beside the vaulter's height and approach speed; the less skilled vaulter should gradually adopt a longer pole to improve the performance.
  • Anatomical and functional changes in the upper airways of sleep apnea patients due to mandibular repositioning: A large scale study
    - J Biomech 44(3):442-449 (2011)
    The obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is a sleep related breathing disorder. A popular treatment is the use of a mandibular repositioning appliance (MRA) which advances the mandibula during the sleep and decreases the collapsibility of the upper airway. The success rate of such a device is, however, limited and very variable within a population of patients. Previous studies using computational fluid dynamics have shown that there is a decrease in upper airway resistance in patients who improve clinically due to an MRA. In this article, correlations between patient-specific anatomical and functional parameters are studied to examine how MRA induced biomechanical changes will have an impact on the upper airway resistance. Low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans are made from 143 patients suffering from OSAHS. A baseline scan and a scan after mandibular repositioning (MR) are performed in order to study variations in parameters. It is found that MR using a! simulation bite is able to induce resistance changes by changing the pharyngeal lumen. The change in minimal cross-sectional area is the best parameter to predict the change in upper airway resistance. Looking at baseline values, the ideal patients for MR induced resistance decrease seem to be women with short airways, high initial resistance and no baseline occlusion.
  • Viscoelastic properties of the tongue and soft palate using MR elastography
    - J Biomech 44(3):450-454 (2011)
    Biomechanical properties of the human tongue are needed for finite element models of the upper airway and may be important to elucidate the pathophysiology of obstructive sleep apneoa. Tongue viscoelastic properties have not been characterized previously. Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is an emerging imaging technique that can measure the viscoelastic properties of soft tissues in-vivo. In this study, MRE was used to measure the viscoelastic properties of the tongue and soft palate in 7 healthy volunteers during quiet breathing. Results show that the storage shear modulus of the tongue and soft palate is 2.67±0.29 and 2.53±0.31 kPa (mean±SD), respectively. This is the first study to investigate the mechanical properties of the tongue using MRE, and it provides necessary data for future studies of patient groups with altered upper airway function.
  • Prediction of applied forces in handrim wheelchair propulsion
    - J Biomech 44(3):455-460 (2011)
    Researchers of wheelchair propulsion have usually suggested that a wheelchair can be properly designed using anthropometrics to reduce high mechanical load and thus reduce pain and damage to joints. A model based on physiological features and biomechanical principles can be used to determine anthropometric relationships for wheelchair fitting. To improve the understanding of man–machine interaction and the mechanism through which propulsion performance been enhanced, this study develops and validates an energy model for wheelchair propulsion. Kinematic data obtained from ten able-bodied and ten wheelchair-dependent users during level propulsion at an average velocity of 1 m/s were used as the input of a planar model with the criteria of increasing efficiency and reducing joint load. Results demonstrate that for both experienced and inexperienced users, predicted handrim contact forces agree with experimental data through an extensive range of the push. Significant de! viations that were mostly observed in the early stage of the push phase might result from the lack of consideration of muscle dynamics and wrist joint biomechanics. The proposed model effectively verified the handrim contact force patterns during dynamic propulsion. Users do not aim to generate mechanically most effective forces to avoid high loadings on the joints.
  • Does the personal lift-assist device affect the local dynamic stability of the spine during lifting?
    - J Biomech 44(3):461-466 (2011)
    The personal lift-assist device (PLAD) is an on-body ergonomic aid that reduces low back physical demands through the restorative moment of an external spring element, which possesses a mechanical advantage over the erector spinae. Although the PLAD has proven effective at reducing low back muscular demand, spinal moments, and localized muscular fatigue during laboratory and industrial tasks, the effects of the device on the neuromuscular control of spinal stability during lifting have yet to be assessed. Thirty healthy subjects (15M, 15F) performed repetitive lifting for three minutes, at a rate of 10 lifts per minute, with and without the PLAD. Maximum finite-time Lyapunov exponents, representing short-term (λmax-s) and long-term (λmax-l) divergence were calculated from the measured trunk kinematics to estimate the local dynamic stability of the lumbar spine. Using a mixed-design repeated-measures ANOVA, it was determined that wearing the PLAD did not significantly! change λmax-s (μNP=0.335, μP=0.321, p=0.225), but did significantly reduce λmax-l (μNP=0.0024, μP=−0.0011, p=0.014, η2=0.197). There were no between-subject effects of sex, or significant interactions (p>0.720). The present results indicated that λmax-s was not statistically different between the device conditions, but that the PLAD significantly reduced λmax-l to a negative (stable) value. This shows that subjects' neuromuscular systems were able to respond to local perturbations more effectively when wearing the device, reflecting a more stable control of spinal movements. These findings are important when recommending the PLAD for long-term industrial or clinical use.
  • Mechanical properties of bovine pia–arachnoid complex in shear
    - J Biomech 44(3):467-474 (2011)
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has become a major public health and socioeconomic problem that affects 1.5 million Americans annually. Finite element methods have been widely used to investigate TBI mechanisms. The pia–arachnoid complex (PAC) covering the brain plays an important role in the mechanical response of the brain during impact or inertial loading. Existing finite element brain models have tended to oversimplify the response of the PAC due to a lack of accurately defined material properties of this structure, possibly resulting in a loss of accuracy in the model predictions. The objectives of this study were to experimentally determine the material properties of the PAC under shear loading. Bovine PAC was selected in the current study in view of its availability and comparability with previous studies. Tangential shear tests were conducted at 0.8, 7.3, and 72 s−1. The mean shear moduli were 11.73, 20.04, and 22.37 kPa at the three strain rates tested. The u! ltimate stress, at the three strain rates, was 9.21, 17.01, and 22.26 kPa, while the ultimate strain was 1.52, 1.58, and 1.81. Results from the current study provide essential information to properly model the PAC membrane, an important component in the skull/brain interface, in a computational model of the human/animal head. Such an improved representation of the in vivo skull/brain interface will enhance future studies investigating brain injury mechanisms under various loading conditions.
  • Moment arms of the human neck muscles in flexion, bending and rotation
    - J Biomech 44(3):475-486 (2011)
    There is a paucity of data available for the moment arms of the muscles of the human neck. The objective of the present study was to measure the moment arms of the major cervical spine muscles in vitro. Experiments were performed on five fresh-frozen human head–neck specimens using a custom-designed robotic spine testing apparatus. The testing apparatus replicated flexion–extension, lateral bending and axial rotation of each individual intervertebral joint in the cervical spine while all other joints were kept immobile. The tendon excursion method was used to measure the moment arms of 30 muscle sub-regions involving 13 major muscles of the neck about all three axes of rotation of each joint for the neutral position of the cervical spine. Significant differences in the moment arm were observed across sub-regions of individual muscles and across the intervertebral joints spanned by each muscle (p<0.05). Overall, muscle moment arms were larger in flexion–extension ! and lateral bending than in axial rotation, and most muscles had prominent moment arms in at least 2 out of the 3 joint motions investigated. This study emphasizes the importance of detailed representation of a muscle's architecture in prediction of its torque capacity about the individual joints of the cervical spine. The dataset produced may be useful in developing and validating computational models of the human neck.
  • In vivo characterization of mechanical tissue properties of internal organs using endoscopic microscopy and inverse finite element analysis
    - J Biomech 44(3):487-493 (2011)
    Knowledge about mechanical tissue properties is required for functional modelling and simulating of tissue and organ responses to external mechanical stress. To get the right properties especially for functional modelling of organs, tissue properties have to be determined in vivo. There are only few described methods for characterization of internal organ's tissue mechanics that can be applied in vivo. We introduce and evaluate a method to determine mechanical tissue properties, especially those of lung tissue, endoscopically. Inverse finite element analysis (utilizing a Neo-Hookean model for hyperelastic materials) and image processing algorithms are used to determine the shear modulus of a soft tissue. The resulting values for shear moduli were normally distributed. The shear modulus of the artificial tissue sample was determined with a relative error of 0.47% compared to the value obtained by uniaxial tensile test.
  • Deficiency of macrophage migration inhibitory factor gene delays healing of the medial collateral ligament: A biomechanical and biological study
    - J Biomech 44(3):494-500 (2011)
    The role played by macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in the process of wound healing is controversial. Besides, there have been no reports that investigated the expression or the role of MIF in the repair process after ligament injury. In this study, we hypothesized that the deficiency in MIF gene might delay ligament healing in mice. The aim of this study was to clarify this hypothesis using MIF gene-deficient mice (MIFKO) and murine model of injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Biomechanical testing showed that the levels of mechanical properties were significantly lower in MIFKO than in wild-type mice (WT) on day 28 after injury. Levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -13 mRNA in the healing tissue were significantly lower in MIFKO than in WT on day 28 and on day 7, respectively. Histologically, healing tissues in MIFKO exhibited prolonged hypertrophy, poor vascularity, and prolonged increase in cell number compared with those in WT. Ta! ken together, it was suggested that MIFKO exhibited delayed healing of the MCL, which might be caused by lower mRNA expression of MMP-2 and -13.
  • Experimental poromechanics of trabecular bone strength: Role of Terzaghi's effective stress and of tissue level stress fluctuations
    - J Biomech 44(3):501-508 (2011)
    In the 1920s and 1930s, Terzaghi and coworkers realized that the failure of various porous geomaterials under internal pore pressure is given through evaluating the failure function for the same materials at zero pressure, with 'total stress plus pore pressure' instead of 'total stress alone' as argument. As to check, probably for the first time, the relevance of this ('Terzaghi's') failure criterion for trabecular bone, a series of poromechanical and ultrasonic tests was conducted on bovine and human trabecular bone samples. Evaluation of respective experimental results within the theoretical framework of microporomechanics showed that (i) Terzaghi's effective stress indeed governs trabecular bone failure, (ii) deviatoric stress states at the level of the solid bone matrix (also called tissue level) are primary candidates for initiating bone failure, and (iii) the high heterogeneity of these deviatoric tissue stresses, which increases with increasing inter! trabecular porosity, governs the overall failure of trabecular bone. Result (i) lets us use the widely documented experimental results for strength values of bone samples without pore pressure, as to predict failure of the same bone samples under internal pore pressure. Result (ii) suggests a favorable mode for strength modeling of solid bone matrix. Finally, result (iii) underlines the suitability of microfinite element simulations for trabecular bone microstructures.
  • Dynamic compressive loading of image-guided tissue engineered meniscal constructs
    - J Biomech 44(3):509-516 (2011)
    This study investigated the hypothesis that dynamic compression loading enhances tissue formation and increases mechanical properties of anatomically shaped tissue engineered menisci. Bovine meniscal fibrochondrocytes were seeded in 2% w/v alginate, crosslinked with CaSO4, injected into μCT based molds, and post crosslinked with CaCl2. Samples were loaded via a custom bioreactor with loading platens specifically designed to load anatomically shaped constructs in unconfined compression. Based on the results of finite element simulations, constructs were loaded under sinusoidal displacement to yield physiological strain levels. Constructs were loaded 3 times a week for 1 h followed by 1 h of rest and loaded again for 1 h. Constructs were dynamically loaded for up to 6 weeks. After 2 weeks of culture, loaded samples had 2–3.2 fold increases in the extracellular matrix (ECM) content and 1.8–2.5 fold increases in the compressive modulus compared with static controls. A! fter 6 weeks of loading, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content and compressive modulus both decreased compared with 2 week cultures by 2.3–2.7 and 1.5–1.7 fold, respectively, whereas collagen content increased by 1.8–2.2 fold. Prolonged loading of engineered constructs could have altered alginate scaffold degradation rate and/or initiated a catabolic cellular response, indicated by significantly decreased ECM retention at 6 weeks compared with 2 weeks. However, the data indicates that dynamic loading had a strikingly positive effect on ECM accumulation and mechanical properties in short term culture.
  • The mechanical heterogeneity of the hard callus influences local tissue strains during bone healing: A finite element study based on sheep experiments
    - J Biomech 44(3):517-523 (2011)
    During secondary fracture healing, various tissue types including new bone are formed. The local mechanical strains play an important role in tissue proliferation and differentiation. To further our mechanobiological understanding of fracture healing, a precise assessment of local strains is mandatory. Until now, static analyses using Finite Elements (FE) have assumed homogenous material properties. With the recent quantification of both the spatial tissue patterns (Vetter et al., 2010) and the development of elastic modulus of newly formed bone during healing (Manjubala et al., 2009), it is now possible to incorporate this heterogeneity. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the effect of this heterogeneity on the strain patterns at six successive healing stages. The input data of the present work stemmed from a comprehensive cross-sectional study of sheep with a tibial osteotomy (Epari et al., 2006). In our FE model, each element containing bone was described by a bulk elastic modulus, which depended on both the local area fraction and the local elastic modulus of the bone material. The obtained strains were compared with the results of hypothetical FE models assuming homogeneous material properties. The differences in the spatial distributions of the strains between the heterogeneous and homogeneous FE models were interpreted using a current mechanobiological theory (Isakson et al., 2006). This interpretation showed that considering the heterogeneity of the hard callus is most important at the intermediate stages of healing, when cartilage transforms to bone via endochondral ossification.
  • A nonlinear biphasic model of flow-controlled infusions in brain: Mass transport analyses
    - J Biomech 44(3):524-531 (2011)
    A biphasic nonlinear mathematical model is proposed for the mass transport that occurs during constant flow-rate infusions into brain tissue. The model takes into account geometric and material nonlinearities and a hydraulic conductivity dependent upon strain. The biphasic and convective–diffusive transport equations were implemented in a custom-written code assuming spherical symmetry and using an updated Lagrangian finite element algorithm. Results of the model indicate that the inclusion of these nonlinearities produced modest changes in the interstitial concentration but important variations in drug penetration and bulk concentration. Increased penetration of the drug but smaller bulk concentrations were obtained at smaller strains caused by combination of parameters such as increased Young's modulus and initial hydraulic conductivity. This indicates that simulations of constant flow-rate infusions under the assumption of infinitesimal deformations or rigidity ! of the tissue may yield lower bulk concentrations near the infusion cavity and over-predictions of the penetration of the infused agent. The analyses also showed that decrease in the infusion flow rate of a fixed amount of drug results in increased penetration of the infused agent. From the clinical point-of-view, this may promote a safer infusion that delivers the therapeutic range over the desired volume while avoiding damage to the tissue by minimizing deformation and strain.
  • Pressure distribution over the palm region during forward falls on the outstretched hands
    - J Biomech 44(3):532-539 (2011)
    Falls on the outstretched hands are the cause of over 90% of wrist fractures, yet little is known about bone loading during this event. We tested how the magnitude and distribution of pressure over the palm region during a forward fall is affected by foam padding (simulating a glove) and arm configuration, and by the faller's body mass index (BMI) and thickness of soft tissues over the palm region. Thirteen young women with high (n=7) or low (n=6) BMI participated in a "torso release experiment" that simulated falling on both outstretched hands with the arm inclined either at 20° or 40° from the vertical. Trials were acquired with and without a 5 mm thick foam pad secured to the palm. Outcome variables were the magnitude and location of peak pressure (d, θ) with respect to the scaphoid, total impact force, and integrated force applied to three concentric areas, including "danger zone" of 2.5 cm radius centered at the scaphoid. Soft tissue thickness over the palm was measured by ultrasound. The 5 mm foam pad reduced peak pressure, and peak force to the danger zone, by 83% and 13%, respectively. Peak pressure was 77% higher in high BMI when compared with low BMI participants. Soft tissue thickness over the palm correlated positively with distance (d) (R=0.79, p=0.001) and force applied outside the danger zone (R=0.76, p=0.002), but did not correlate with BMI (R=0.43, p=0.14). The location of peak pressure was shunted 4 mm further from the scaphoid at 20° than that of 40° falls (d=25 mm (SD 8), θ=−9° (SD 17) in the 20° falls versus d=21 mm (SD 8), θ=−5° (SD 24) in the 40° falls). Peak force to the entire palm was 11% greater in 20° compared with 40° falls. These results indicate that even a 5 mm thick foam layer protects against wrist injury, by attenuating peak pressure over the palm during forward falls. Increased soft tissue thickness shunts force away from the scaphoid. However, soft tissue thickness is not predicted by BMI, and peak pressures are greater in high individuals than that of low BMI individuals. These results contribute to our understanding of the mechanics and prevention of wrist and hand injuries during falls.
  • Support vector machines for detecting age-related changes in running kinematics
    - J Biomech 44(3):540-542 (2011)
    Age-related changes in running kinematics have been reported in the literature using classical inferential statistics. However, this approach has been hampered by the increased number of biomechanical gait variables reported and subsequently the lack of differences presented in these studies. Data mining techniques have been applied in recent biomedical studies to solve this problem using a more general approach. In the present work, we re-analyzed lower extremity running kinematic data of 17 young and 17 elderly male runners using the Support Vector Machine (SVM) classification approach. In total, 31 kinematic variables were extracted to train the classification algorithm and test the generalized performance. The results revealed different accuracy rates across three different kernel methods adopted in the classifier, with the linear kernel performing the best. A subsequent forward feature selection algorithm demonstrated that with only six features, the linear kernel! SVM achieved 100% classification performance rate, showing that these features provided powerful combined information to distinguish age groups. The results of the present work demonstrate potential in applying this approach to improve knowledge about the age-related differences in running gait biomechanics and encourages the use of the SVM in other clinical contexts.
  • Material properties of the cornea and sclera: A modelling approach to test experimental analysis
    - J Biomech 44(3):543-546 (2011)
    Material properties of cornea and sclera are important for maintaining the shape of the eye and the requisite surface curvatures for optics. They also need to withstand the forces of external and internal musculature and fluctuations in intraocular pressure (IOP). These properties are difficult to measure and variable results have been reported. A previously published experimental procedure, from which the material properties of the eyeball coats were obtained, has been modelled in this paper using Finite Element Analysis, in order to test the accuracy of the experiment. Material parameters were calculated from the model and the resulting relationships between stress and strain for the cornea and sclera compared to their experimentally obtained counterparts. The comparison between model and experiment was close for the sclera but more varied for the cornea. The pressure vessel model can be applied for measuring the material properties of the sclera but is less accurate! for the cornea.
  • Soft tissue wobbling affects trunk dynamic response in sudden perturbations
    - J Biomech 44(3):547-551 (2011)
    Soft tissue wobbling reduces the transferred impact of external loads on lower limb joints. The present study investigated whether soft tissue wobbling has similar effects on trunk dynamic response to sudden perturbations. Three healthy males were subjected to a series of anteriorly directed trunk position perturbations at three different velocities while trunk kinematics and kinetics were measured. A nonlinear active–passive finite element model of the human trunk was then used to study the effects of soft tissue wobbling on trunk response. Also investigated were the effects on model predictions of including elements simulating the apparatus (rod–harness assembly) transferring motor-generated perturbations to the trunk. Predicted and measured trunk kinematics and kinetics, when accounting for the dynamic effects of both wobbling mass and rod–harness assembly, were in good agreement for all velocities especially early (<120 ms) after the perturbations (ρ>0.97). ! Root mean square errors in model predictions increased considerably when neglecting the aforementioned modeling considerations. The trunk wobbling mass and connecting elements between the trunk and the perturbing device, particularly during faster perturbations, substantially attenuated the transferred impact of external loads on the spine (by 33–90 N across perturbation velocities). Such reductions in the impacts transferred, in turn, reduced the predicted demands on the neuromuscular system for control and maintenance of spinal loads and stability. As such, these features should be considered in future biodynamic models of the human trunk aimed at estimating trunk neuromuscular behaviors during sudden perturbations.
  • Non-invasive assessment of failure torque in rat bones with simulated lytic lesions using computed tomography based structural rigidity analysis
    - J Biomech 44(3):552-556 (2011)
    This study applies CT-based structural rigidity analysis (CTRA) to assess failure torque of rat femurs with simulated lytic defects at different locations (proximal and distal femur) and diameters (25% and 50% of the cross-section at the site), and compared the results to those obtained from mechanical testing. Moreover, it aims to compare the correlation coefficients between CTRA-based failure torque and DXA-based aBMD versus actual failure torque. Twenty rats were randomly assigned to four equal groups of different simulated lesions based on size and location. Femurs from each animal underwent micro-computed tomography to assess three-dimensional micro-structural data, torsional rigidity using structural rigidity analysis and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry to assess bone mineral density. Following imaging, all specimens were subjected to torsion. Failure torque predicted from CT-derived structural rigidity measurements was better correlated with mechanically derived failure torque [R2=0.85] than was aBMD from DXA [R2=0.32]. In summary, the results of this study suggest that computed tomography based structural rigidity analysis can be used to accurately and quantitatively measure the mechanical failure torque of bones with osteolytic lesions in an experimental rat model. Structural rigidity analysis can provide more accurate predictions on maximal torque to mechanical failure than dual energy X-ray absorptiometry based on bone mineral density.
  • A new technique to measure micromotion distribution around a cementless femoral stem
    - J Biomech 44(3):557-560 (2011)
    The interfacial micromotion is closely associated to the long-term success of cementless hip prostheses. Various techniques have been proposed to measure them, but only a few number of points over the stem surface can be measured simultaneously. In this paper, we propose a new technique based on micro-Computer Tomography (μCT) to measure locally the relative interfacial micromotions between the metallic stem and the surrounding femoral bone. Tantalum beads were stuck at the stem surface and spread at the endosteal surface. Relative micromotions between the stem and the endosteal bone surfaces were measured at different loading amplitudes. The estimated error was 10 μm and the maximal micromotion was 60 μm, in the loading direction, at 1400 N. This pilot study provided a local measurement of the micromotions in the 3 direction and at 8 locations on the stem surface simultaneously. This technique could be easily extended to higher loads and a much larger number of poi! nts, covering the entire stem surface and providing a quasi-continuous distribution of the 3D interfacial micromotions around the stem. The new measurement method would be very useful to compare the induced micromotions of different stem designs and to optimize the primary stability of cementless total hip arthroplasty.
  • Methods to temporally align gait cycle data
    - J Biomech 44(3):561-566 (2011)
    The need for the temporal alignment of gait cycle data is well known; however, there is little consensus concerning which alignment method to use. In this paper, we discuss the pros and cons of some methods commonly applied to temporally align gait cycle data (normalization to percent gait cycle, dynamic time warping, derivative dynamic time warping, and piecewise alignment methods). In addition, we empirically evaluate these different methods' abilities to produce successful temporal alignment when mapping a test gait cycle trajectory to a target trajectory. We demonstrate that piecewise temporal alignment techniques outperform other commonly used alignment methods (normalization to percent gait cycle, dynamic time warping, and derivative dynamic time warping) in typical biomechanical and clinical alignment tasks. Lastly, we present an example of how these piecewise alignment techniques make it possible to separately examine intensity and temporal differences betwee! n gait cycle data throughout the entire gait cycle, which can provide greater insight into the complexities of movement patterns.
  • Confocal-based cell-specific finite element modeling extended to study variable cell shapes and intracellular structures: The example of the adipocyte
    - J Biomech 44(3):567-573 (2011)
    This communication extends the recently reported cell-specific finite element (FE) method in Slomka and Gefen (2010) in which geometrically realistic FE cell models are created from confocal microscopy scans for large deformation analyses. The cell-specific FE method is extended here in the following aspects: (i) we demonstrate that cell-specific FE is versatile enough to deal with cells of substantially different geometrical shapes. The examples of an "elongated" pre-adipocyte and a "round" mature adipocyte are used to demonstrate this feature. (ii) We demonstrate that cell-specific FE can be used to analyze the mechanical behavior of cells that incorporate complex intracellular structures and are subjected to large deformations—again through the example of an adipocyte which contains a multitude of lipid droplets, each having a different size and shape. By demonstrating feasibility of inclusion of such inhomogeneities in the cytoplasm, the present work pave! s the way for modeling cellular organelles such as Golgi bodies, lysosomes and mitochondria in mechanically loaded cells using cell-specific FE.

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