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J Biomech. 2011 Jun 3;44(9):1805-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.04.003. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Kinematic performance of a six degree-of-freedom hand model (6DHand) for use in occupational biomechanics.

Author information

  • 1National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1095 Willowdale Road MS 2027, Morgantown, WV 26505, United States. fbuczek@cdc.gov


Upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders represent an important health issue across all industry sectors; as such, the need exists to develop models of the hand that provide comprehensive biomechanics during occupational tasks. Previous optical motion capture studies used a single marker on the dorsal aspect of finger joints, allowing calculation of one and two degree-of-freedom (DOF) joint angles; additional algorithms were needed to define joint centers and the palmar surface of fingers. We developed a 6DOF model (6DHand) to obtain unconstrained kinematics of finger segments, modeled as frusta of right circular cones that approximate the palmar surface. To evaluate kinematic performance, twenty subjects gripped a cylindrical handle as a surrogate for a powered hand tool. We hypothesized that accessory motions (metacarpophalangeal pronation/supination; proximal and distal interphalangeal radial/ulnar deviation and pronation/supination; all joint translations) would be small (less than 5° rotations, less than 2mm translations) if segment anatomical reference frames were aligned correctly, and skin movement artifacts were negligible. For the gripping task, 93 of 112 accessory motions were small by our definition, suggesting this 6DOF approach appropriately models joints of the fingers. Metacarpophalangeal supination was larger than expected (approximately 10°), and may be adjusted through local reference frame optimization procedures previously developed for knee kinematics in gait analysis. Proximal translations at the metacarpophalangeal joints (approximately 10mm) were explained by skin movement across the metacarpals, but would not corrupt inverse dynamics calculated for the phalanges. We assessed performance in this study; a more rigorous validation would likely require medical imaging.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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