Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hot off the presses! Sep 23 J Biomech

The Sep 23 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(14):IFC (2011)
  • Patient-specific prediction of intrinsic mechanical loadings on sub-muscular pectoral pacemaker implants based on an inter-species transfer function
    - J Biomech 44(14):2525-2531 (2011)
    With the steady technological development enabling reduced device dimensions and new patient populations, detailed data on mechanical in vivo loads become increasingly important to ensure reliability of implantable medical devices. Based on an intra-species correlation of in-line and transverse force of the Pectoralis major established previously for the Chacma baboon (de Vaal et al., 2010a), a simplified physiological model and a mechanical equivalent model were developed for a sub-muscular pectoral device implant considering Pectoralis major, Pectoralis minor and rib cage. By assessing the morphometric and mechanical parameters of these musculo-skeletal structures and the associated model parameters, the intra-species correlation was shown to exhibit (a) robustness for a larger intra-species subject population and (b) linear scale variance allowing application for humans under consideration of the inter-species difference of the attachment angles of Pectoralis major.! The transfer function provides a basis for the prediction of patient-specific maximum mechanical loadings on a sub-muscular pectoral cardiac pacemaker implant through non- or minimal invasive measurements on the patient.
  • Evolving biaxial mechanical properties of mouse carotid arteries in hypertension
    - J Biomech 44(14):2532-2537 (2011)
    Quantifying the time course of load-induced changes in arterial wall geometry, microstructure, and properties is fundamental to developing mathematical models of growth and remodeling. Arteries adapt to altered pressure and flow by modifying wall thickness, inner diameter, and axial length via marked cell and matrix turnover. To estimate particular biomaterial implications of such adaptations, we used a 4-fiber family constitutive relation to quantify passive biaxial mechanical behaviors of mouse carotid arteries 0 (control), 7–10, 10–14, or 35–56 days after an aortic arch banding surgery that increased pulse pressure and pulsatile flow in the right carotid artery. In vivo circumferential and axial stretches at mean arterial pressure were, for example, 11% and 26% lower, respectively, in hypertensive carotids 35–56 days after banding than in normotensive controls; this finding is consistent with observations that hypertension decreases distensibility. Interesti! ngly, the strain energy W stored in the carotids at individual in vivo conditions was also less in hypertensive compared with normotensive carotids. For example, at 35–56 days after banding, W was 24%, 39%, and 47% of normal values at diastolic, mean, and systolic pressures, respectively. The energy stored during the cardiac cycle, Wsys–Wdias, also tended to be less, but this reduction did not reach significance. When computed at normal in vivo values of biaxial stretch, however, W was well above normal for the hypertensive carotids. This net increase resulted from an overall increase in the collagen-related anisotropic contribution to W despite a decrease in the elastin-related isotropic contribution. The latter was consistent with observed decreases in the mass fraction of elastin.
  • Computational methods for quantifying in vivo muscle fascicle curvature from ultrasound images
    - J Biomech 44(14):2538-2543 (2011)
    Muscle fascicles curve during contraction, and this has been seen using B-mode ultrasound. Curvature can vary along a fascicle, and amongst the fascicles within a muscle. The purpose of this study was to develop an automated method for quantifying curvature across the entirety of an imaged muscle, to test the accuracy of the method against synthetic images of known curvature and noise, and to test the sensitivity of the method to ultrasound probe placement. Both synthetic and ultrasound images were processed using multiscale vessel enhancement filtering to accentuate the muscle fascicles, wavelet-based methods were used to quantify fascicle orientations and curvature distribution grids were produced by quantifying local curvatures for each point within the image. Ultrasound images of ramped isometric contractions of the human medial gastrocnemius were acquired in a test–retest study. The methods enabled distinct curvatures to be determined in different regions of the muscle. The methods were sensitive to kernel sizes during image processing, noise within the image and the variability of probe placements during retesting. Across the physiological range of curvatures and noise, curvatures calculated from validation grids were quantified with a typical standard error of less than 0.026 m−1, and this is about 1% of the maximum curvatures observed in fascicles of contracting muscle.
  • A constitutive model for vascular tissue that integrates fibril, fiber and continuum levels with application to the isotropic and passive properties of the infrarenal aorta
    - J Biomech 44(14):2544-2550 (2011)
    A fundamental understanding of the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is critically important to quantify the amount of macroscopic stress and/or strain transmitted to the cellular level of vascular tissue. Structural constitutive models integrate histological and mechanical information, and hence, allocate stress and strain to the different microstructural components of the vascular wall. The present work proposes a novel multi-scale structural constitutive model of passive vascular tissue, where collagen fibers are assembled by proteoglycan (PG) cross-linked collagen fibrils and reinforce an otherwise isotropic matrix material. Multiplicative kinematics account for the straightening and stretching of collagen fibrils, and an orientation density function captures the spatial organization of collagen fibers in the tissue. Mechanical and structural assumptions at the collagen fibril level define a piece-wise analytical stress–stretch response of c! ollagen fibers, which in turn is integrated over the unit sphere to constitute the tissue's macroscopic mechanical properties. The proposed model displays the salient macroscopic features of vascular tissue, and employs the material and structural parameters of clear physical meaning. Likewise, the constitutive concept renders a highly efficient multi-scale structural approach that allows for the numerical analysis at the organ level. Model parameters were estimated from isotropic mean-population data of the normal and aneurysmatic aortic wall and used to predict in-vivo stress states of patient-specific vascular geometries, thought to demonstrate the robustness of the particular Finite Element (FE) implementation. The collagen fibril level of the multi-scale constitutive formulation provided an interface to integrate vascular wall biology and to account for collagen turnover.
  • Study of carotid arterial plaque stress for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients
    - J Biomech 44(14):2551-2557 (2011)
    Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the world, resulting mostly from the sudden ruptures of atherosclerosis carotid plaques. Until now, the exact plaque rupture mechanism has not been fully understood, and also the plaque rupture risk stratification. The advanced multi-spectral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has allowed the plaque components to be visualized in-vivo and reconstructed by computational modeling. In the study, plaque stress analysis using fully coupled fluid structure interaction was applied to 20 patients (12 symptomatic and 8 asymptomatic) reconstructed from in-vivo MRI, followed by a detailed biomechanics analysis, and morphological feature study. The locally extreme stress conditions can be found in the fibrous cap region, 85% at the plaque shoulder based on the present study cases. Local maximum stress values predicted in the plaque region were found to be significantly higher in symptomatic patients than that in asymptomatic patients (! 200±43 kPa vs. 127±37 kPa, p=0.001). Plaque stress level, defined by excluding 5% highest stress nodes in the fibrous cap region based on the accumulative histogram of stress experienced on the computational nodes in the fibrous cap, was also significantly higher in symptomatic patients than that in asymptomatic patients (154±32 kPa vs. 111±23 kPa, p<0.05). Although there was no significant difference in lipid core size between the two patient groups, symptomatic group normally had a larger lipid core and a significantly thinner fibrous cap based on the reconstructed plaques using 3D interpolation from stacks of 2D contours. Plaques with a higher stenosis were more likely to have extreme stress conditions upstream of plaque throat. The combined analyses of plaque MR image and plaque stress will advance our understanding of plaque rupture, and provide a useful tool on assessing plaque rupture risk.
  • Probing softness of the parietal pleural surface at the micron scale
    - J Biomech 44(14):2558-2564 (2011)
    The pleural surfaces of the chest wall and lung slide against each other, lubricated by pleural fluid. During sliding motion of soft tissues, shear induced hydrodynamic pressure deforms the surfaces, promoting uniformity of the fluid layer thickness, thereby reducing friction. To assess pleural deformability at length scales comparable to pleural fluid thickness, we measured the modulus of the parietal pleura of rat chest wall using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to indent the pleural surface with spheres (radius 2.5 and 5 μm). The pleura exhibited two distinct indentation responses depending on location, reflecting either homogeneous or significantly heterogeneous tissue properties. We found an elastic modulus of 0.38–0.95 kPa, lower than the values measured using flat-ended cylinders >100 μm radii (Gouldstone et al., 2003, Journal of Applied Physiology 95, 2345–2349). Interestingly, the pleura exhibited a three-fold higher modulus when probed using 2.5 vs. 5 μm! spherical tips at the same normalized depth, confirming depth dependent inhomogeneous elastic properties. The observed softness of the pleura supports the hypothesis that unevenness of the pleural surface on this scale is smoothed by local hydrodynamic pressure.
  • Cervical spinal cord deformation during simulated head-first impact injuries
    - J Biomech 44(14):2565-2571 (2011)
    The relationship between bony spinal column and spinal cord injury during an injury event is not well understood. While several studies have measured spinal canal occlusion during axial impact, there has been limited work done to quantify the spinal cord compression or deformation during simulated injury. Because the cord is a viscoelastic solid it may provide resistance to bone fragments, ligaments or other elements that move into the canal and impinge it during column injury. This would differentiate the measurement of cord compression from the measurement of occlusion of an empty canal. In the present study, a novel method of visualizing and quantifying spinal cord deformation during dynamic head-first impact of ex vivo human cervical spine specimens (N=6) was developed. A radiodense, biofidelic surrogate spinal cord was imaged in the spinal canal using high speed cineradiography at 1000 frames per second. The dorsal–ventral diameter of the cord was measured at 1.! 5 mm increments along its length for each frame of the radiographic footage. The resulting cord deformations were used to determine the theoretical neurological outcome of the impact based on published in vivo ferret studies. The corresponding probability of recovery for the spinal cord deformations in these tests ranged between 8% for atlantoaxial dislocation injury and 95% for mid-cervical spine hyperextension injury (based on the ferret data). Clinically relevant spinal column fracture patterns were produced in this study.
  • Amputee Independent Prosthesis Properties—A new model for description and measurement
    - J Biomech 44(14):2572-2575 (2011)
    A model is presented for describing the Amputee Independent Prosthesis Properties (AIPP) of complete assemblies of trans-tibial prosthetic components distal to the socket. This new AIPP model includes features of both lumped parameter and roll-over models and describes prosthesis properties that are of importance in stance phase, including prosthetic foot geometry, normal stiffness, shear stiffness, and damping (energy dissipation). Methods are described for measuring the parameters of the AIPP model using a custom test-rig, commercial load-cell, and a motion capture system. Example data are presented for five pylon angles reflecting the shank angles seen in normal gait. Through the inclusion of measured AIPP in future in-vivo studies comparing different prostheses more generic information, as opposed to product specific claims, will become more widely available to inform future designs, prescription, and alignment procedures.
  • Kinematics and kinetics of an accidental lateral ankle sprain
    - J Biomech 44(14):2576-2578 (2011)
    Ankle sprains are common during sporting activities and can have serious consequences. Understanding of injury mechanisms is essential to prevent injuries, but only two previous studies have provided detailed descriptions of the kinematics of lateral ankle sprains and measures of kinetics are missing. In the present study a female handball player accidentally sprained her ankle during sidestep cutting in a motion analysis laboratory. Kinematics and kinetics were calculated from 240 Hz recordings with a full-body marker setup. The injury trial was compared with two previous (non-injury) trials. The injury trial showed a sudden increase in inversion and internal rotation that peaked between 130 and 180 ms after initial contact. We observed an attempted unloading of the foot from 80 ms after initial contact. As the inversion and internal rotation progressed, the loads were likely to exceed injury threshold between 130 and 180 ms. There was a considerable amount of dorsifl! exion in the injury trial compared to neutral flexion in the control trials, similar to the previously published kinematical descriptions of lateral ankle sprains. The present study also adds valuable kinetic information that improves understanding of the injury mechanism.
  • Triceps surae muscle–tendon unit length changes as a function of ankle joint angles and contraction levels: The effect of foot arch deformation
    - J Biomech 44(14):2579-2583 (2011)
    The purpose of this study was to clarify how foot deformation affects the relationship between triceps surae muscle–tendon unit (MTU) length and ankle joint angle. For six women and six men a series of sagittal magnetic resonance (MR) images of the right foot were taken, and changes in MTU length (the displacement of the calcaneal tuberosity), foot arch angle, and ankle joint angle were measured. In the passive session, each subject's ankle joint was secured at 10° dorsiflexed position, neutral position (NP), and 10° and 20° plantar flexed positions while MR images were acquired. In the active session, each subject was requested to perform submaximal isometric plantar flexions (30%, 60%, and 80% of voluntary maximum) at NP. The changes in MTU length in each trial were estimated by two different formulae reported previously. The changes of the measured MTU length as a function of ankle joint angles observed in all trials of the active session were significantly (p
  • A comparison of stress distributions for different surgical procedures, screw dimensions and orientations for a Temporomandibular joint implant
    - J Biomech 44(14):2584-2587 (2011)
    Finite element analysis is a useful analytical tool for the design of biomedical implants. The aim of this study was to investigate the behavior of temporomandibular joint implants with multiple design variables of the screws used for fixation of the implant. A commercially available implant with full mandible was analyzed using a finite element software package. The effects of different design variables such as orientation, diameter and stem length of the screws on the stress distribution in bone for two different surgical procedures were investigated. Considering the microstrain in bone as a principal factor, the acceptable ranges for screw diameter and length were determined. Parallel orientation of the screws performed better from a stress point of view when compared to the zig-zag orientation. Sufficient contact between the implant collar and mandibular condyle was shown to reduce the peak stresses which may lead to long term success. The distance between screw ho! les in the parallel orientation was much closer when compared to the zig-zag orientation. However, the stresses in bone near the screw hole area for the parallel orientation were within acceptable limits.

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