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Biomed Sci Instrum. 2001;37:111-6.

Modelling soft tissue for kinematic analysis of multi-segment human body models.

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1
Department of Design, Brunel University, Surrey, TW20 0JZ, U.K.

Abstract

Traditionally biomechanical models represent the musculoskeletal system by a series of rigid links connected by rigidly defined rotational joints. More recently though the mechanics of joints and the action of soft tissues has come under closer scrutiny: biomechanical models might now include a full range of physiological structures. However, soft tissue representation, within multi-segment human body models, presents significant problems; not least in computational speed. We present a method for representing soft tissue physiology which provides for soft tissue wrapping around multiple bony objects; while showing forces at the insertion points, as well as normal reactions due to contact between the soft and bony tissues. These soft tissue representations may therefore be used to constrain the joint, as ligaments would, or to generate motion, like a muscle, so that joints may be modelled which more accurately simulate musculoskeletal motion in all degrees of freedom--rotational and translational. This method produces soft tissues that do not need to be tied to a certain path or route between the bony structures, but may move with the motion of the model; demonstrating a more realistic analysis of soft tissue activity in the musculoskeletal system. The combination of solid geometry models of the skeletal structure, and these novel soft tissue representations, may also provide a useful approach to synthesised human motion.

PMID:
11347372
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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