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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2007 Nov;54(11):1940-50.

OpenSim: open-source software to create and analyze dynamic simulations of movement.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Clark Center, Room S-170, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305-5450, USA.


Dynamic simulations of movement allow one to study neuromuscular coordination, analyze athletic performance, and estimate internal loading of the musculoskeletal system. Simulations can also be used to identify the sources of pathological movement and establish a scientific basis for treatment planning. We have developed a freely available, open-source software system (OpenSim) that lets users develop models of musculoskeletal structures and create dynamic simulations of a wide variety of movements. We are using this system to simulate the dynamics of individuals with pathological gait and to explore the biomechanical effects of treatments. OpenSim provides a platform on which the biomechanics community can build a library of simulations that can be exchanged, tested, analyzed, and improved through a multi-institutional collaboration. Developing software that enables a concerted effort from many investigators poses technical and sociological challenges. Meeting those challenges will accelerate the discovery of principles that govern movement control and improve treatments for individuals with movement pathologies.

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