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Recent Advances in Biomechanics of Human Movement and Its Clinical Applications

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomedical Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 15759

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK
Interests: biomechanics; motion medicine; musculoskeletal modelling; computer simulation; gait analysis; electromyograph; artificial intelligence; clinical application
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Medical College, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
Interests: neural engineering; rehabilitation engineering; biomedical instrumentation, and signal/image processing; brain–computer interface; functional electrical stimulation; gait analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the progress in motion capture technology, computer modeling, and bioinformation, biomechanics has progressed into a new stage where there are plenty of academic and theoretical achievements. On the other hand, biomechanics has been involved in the development of useful tools for clinical assessment and treatment. However, this development is far from the stage where clinicians are able to use the outcomes from biomechanical research in clinical practice. This brings in new challenges for researchers: 1) how to make a bridge between theoretical achievements and practical applications, 2) how to develop stronger means for clinical practice, 3) what could be suitable for clinical practice, etc. Therefore, this Special Issue aims to provide a place for the presentation of innovative ideas and experimental results in the field of biomechanics and applications into clinical practice, i.e., a bridge from idea, tool, and theory to practical use. 

Areas relevant to this issue include but are not limited to theoretical analysis of biomechanics with clinical cases, data-intensive applications, novel algorithms and applications, computational science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, wearable sensor application, medical instruments, and other topics that clinicians may be interested in and feel are helpful. 

This Special Issue will publish high-quality, original research papers, in but not limited to the fields and keywords outlined below while emphasizing clinical application: 

  • Biomechanics;
  • Motion medicine;
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning;
  • Computational modeling;
  • Instrumentation;
  • Motion pattern recognition;
  • Bio-force measurement and analysis;
  • Bio-signal measurement and analysis;
  • Bio-image measurement and analysis

Dr. Weijie Wang
Prof. Dr. Dong Ming
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • gait
  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning and deep learning
  • electromyograph (EMG)
  • electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • strength
  • rehabilitation
  • physiotherapy
  • stroke
  • cerebral palsy
  • motion capture
  • sensor
  • joint and bone
  • muscle
  • artificial implant
  • algorithms  

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 3550 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Measures of Balance during Obstacle-Crossing in Self-Selected Gait in Individuals with Mild-to-Moderate Parkinson’s Disease
by Cathy Harro, Gordon Alderink, Lauren Hickox, David W. Zeitler, Michele Avery, Courtney Daman and Dori Laker
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(3), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14031271 - 3 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 655
Abstract
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have postural instability and gait dysfunction that lead to falls and disability with disease progression. Increased fall risk is particularly seen during challenging gait tasks such as obstacle-crossing. The purpose of this study was to determine if there [...] Read more.
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have postural instability and gait dysfunction that lead to falls and disability with disease progression. Increased fall risk is particularly seen during challenging gait tasks such as obstacle-crossing. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were differences in dynamic postural control during self-paced walking and obstacle-crossing between persons with mild-to-moderate PD and healthy controls. Participants included nine individuals with PD and nine age- and gender-matched controls (CON). This study examined margin of stability metrics using instrumented 3D motion analysis during the two-step sequence of the obstacle-crossing task. Dynamic balance variables and spatiotemporal (ST) parameters at distinct gait events related to the leading (step one) and trailing leg (step two) were compared for the PD and CON groups using a mixed-model ANOVA. No differences were found between groups for ST gait parameters during obstacle-crossing, except for a significantly reduced step length (p = 0.005) for the trailing limb for the PD group. The PD group demonstrated significantly larger mean values for mediolateral center of pressure–center of mass (COP–COM) distance at first double support (p = 0.004) and center of pressure–extrapolated center of mass (COP–XCOM) distance at second double support (p = 0.016) for the second step. Our results suggest that the margin of stability may be useful in discerning postural control adaptations during obstacle negotiation in persons with PD. Full article
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16 pages, 4212 KiB  
Article
Simultaneous Validity and Intra-Test Reliability of Joint Angle Measurement through Novel Multi-RGB Sensor-Based Three-Joint-Continuous-Motion Analysis: A Pilot Study
by Junghoon Ahn, Hongtaek Choi, Heehwa Lee, Suhng Wook Kim, Jinyoung Lee and Hyeong-Dong Kim
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14010073 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 726
Abstract
The use of motion-analysis devices that can measure the progress of rehabilitation exercises for nerve paralysis is increasing because of the need to confirm the effectiveness of treatment for sports injuries. This study developed a new motion-analysis device that can be easily handled [...] Read more.
The use of motion-analysis devices that can measure the progress of rehabilitation exercises for nerve paralysis is increasing because of the need to confirm the effectiveness of treatment for sports injuries. This study developed a new motion-analysis device that can be easily handled compared with the existing VICON motion-analysis device. Motion analysis of the human body (specifically, hip flexion, knee flexion, and trunk rotation) performed simultaneously with the new device and the existing VICON device was compared. Five healthy young men voluntarily participated in this study. Various joint angles were captured using a marker-less multi-view image-based motion-analysis system and a VICON motion capture system with markers during lower-extremity work. Intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis was used to examine simultaneous- and angular-limit validity and the intra-joint reliability of multi-point image-based motion-analysis systems. Simultaneous validity analysis showed that the highest ICCs for hip flexion, knee flexion, and trunk rotation were 0.924–0.998, 0.842–0.989 or higher, and 0.795–0.962, respectively. We confirmed that this new marker-less motion-analysis system has high accuracy and reliability in measuring joint kinematics in the lower extremities during rehabilitation and in monitoring the performance of athletes in training facilities. Full article
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11 pages, 2659 KiB  
Article
Damage-Based Assessment of the Risk of Cut-Out in Trochanteric Fractures for Different Proximal Femoral Nail Anti-Rotation (PFNA) Blade Positions
by Francisco Rebelo de Andrade, Carlos Quental, João Folgado and Francisco Guerra-Pinto
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(21), 11614; https://doi.org/10.3390/app132111614 - 24 Oct 2023
Viewed by 949
Abstract
Cut-out of the hip blade of fracture fixation implants, defined as the perforation of the femoral head by the blade due to the collapse of the neck-shaft angle into varus, is the most relevant mechanical complication in the treatment of trochanteric fractures. Among [...] Read more.
Cut-out of the hip blade of fracture fixation implants, defined as the perforation of the femoral head by the blade due to the collapse of the neck-shaft angle into varus, is the most relevant mechanical complication in the treatment of trochanteric fractures. Among the factors that contribute to cut-out, the blade positioning in the femoral head is reported as one of the most relevant. Since the optimal blade position in the superior–inferior and medial–lateral directions is unknown, the goal of this work was to investigate the impact of blade positioning in these directions, using three-dimensional finite element models of two femora with an unstable trochanteric fracture (31-A2.2 in the Müller AO classification system with an intrusion distance of 95% of the fracture line length). The finite element models developed were coupled with a stiffness-adaptive damage model for the evaluation of the risk of cut-out. The Proximal Femoral Nail Anti-rotation (PFNA) blade was placed in each model at four discrete distances from the femoral head surface in central and inferior positions. The damage distribution in bone resulting from a gait loading condition was visually and quantitatively assessed to compare the performance of the eight positions and predict the relative risk of cut-out for each. The results suggest that the closer the tip of the blade to the femoral head surface, the lower the risk of cut-out. In the superior–inferior direction, contradicting findings were obtained for the modelled femora. The depth of placement of the blade in the medial–lateral direction and its superior–inferior position were shown to have great influence in the risk of cut-out, with the medial–lateral position being the most relevant predictor. The optimal blade positioning may be subject-specific, depending on bone geometry and density distribution. Full article
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10 pages, 7456 KiB  
Communication
Novel Instrument for Clinical Evaluations of Active Extraocular Muscle Tension
by Hyun Jin Shin, Seokjin Kim, Hyunkyoo Kang and Andrew G. Lee
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(20), 11431; https://doi.org/10.3390/app132011431 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 839
Abstract
Strabismus can be caused by abnormal tension of the extraocular muscles (EOMs) attached to the eyeball in superior, inferior, lateral, medial, superior oblique, and inferior oblique positions. Evaluating the tension in each EOM is crucial for surgical planning in strabismus, which is conducted [...] Read more.
Strabismus can be caused by abnormal tension of the extraocular muscles (EOMs) attached to the eyeball in superior, inferior, lateral, medial, superior oblique, and inferior oblique positions. Evaluating the tension in each EOM is crucial for surgical planning in strabismus, which is conducted by adjusting the tension on the EOM. The purpose of this study was to develop a compact measuring device to non-invasively evaluate the active EOM tension. The proposed device employed a cotton-tipped medical swab to transfer the EOM tension connected to the force sensor as a non-invasive medium. The tilting angle of the swab and the force of active EOM tension were wirelessly transferred to a laptop computer for recording and real-time displaying of the measured values. The active EOM tensions for the four recti muscles were 101.7 ± 15.0 g (mean ± SD) for the lateral rectus; 88.0 ± 15.4 g for the medial rectus; 61.3 ± 6.8 g for the inferior rectus; and 121.3 ± 38.5 g for the superior rectus. These values were higher than the reported values of 45–60 g measured in previous studies. In the previous studies, however, the EOM was detached from the globe and attached to a strain gauge, and, thus, there were no passive elastic forces from ocular connective tissue, resulting in lower values compared with the current study. The previous methods were also complex and not suitable for clinical measurement. Thus, the proposed method, which is non-invasive and mimics the conventional force generation test with a cotton-tipped swab, could facilitate the evaluation of active EOM tension, both clinically in strabismus management and in research into understanding its pathophysiology. Full article
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16 pages, 5396 KiB  
Article
Approximate Entropy and Velocity of Center of Pressure to Determine Postural Stability: A Pilot Study
by Natalie Tipton, Gordon Alderink and Samhita Rhodes
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(16), 9259; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13169259 - 15 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1353
Abstract
The body’s postural control system is responsible for responding to perturbations of balance and keeping the body upright. During quiet standing, the center of pressure oscillates about the center of mass, counteracting imbalances. These oscillations can be analyzed to determine the degree of [...] Read more.
The body’s postural control system is responsible for responding to perturbations of balance and keeping the body upright. During quiet standing, the center of pressure oscillates about the center of mass, counteracting imbalances. These oscillations can be analyzed to determine the degree of stability, which could be helpful in quantifying the effects of brain injuries. In this research, the center of pressure was recorded for stances with feet together and feet tandem, with eyes opened and eyes closed, in neurotypical participants. These signals were analyzed using indices of approximate entropy and velocity to determine how sensitive the measures were in tracking changes to stability levels. One-way ANOVA test results showed increased approximate entropy in anterior/posterior and medial/lateral directions (p = 1.21 × 10−11, 3 × 10−14) and increased velocity in both directions (p = 2.87 × 10−6, 4.87 × 10−7) during conditions with decreased stability. Dunnett’s post hoc testing indicated that approximate entropy was significantly greater in all the less stable feet tandem trials in comparison to the most stable eyes open, feet together condition with p < 0.001 in nearly every participant and that velocity was significantly greater in the least stable eyes closed, feet tandem trials in comparison to the most stable condition with p < 0.01 in nearly every participant. Full article
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17 pages, 7012 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Kinematics and Kinetics of the Overhead Deep Squat in Healthy Adults: A Descriptive Study
by Barbara J. Hoogenboom, Christopher J. May, Gordon J. Alderink, Brian S. Thompson and Lukas A. Gilmore
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 7285; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13127285 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2135
Abstract
The squat, a fundamental functional movement, is prone to biomechanical inefficiencies. Several screening batteries utilize the Overhead Deep Squat (OHDS) to assess individuals for stability and mobility deficits. The purpose of this study was to create a comprehensive description of the three-dimensional (3D) [...] Read more.
The squat, a fundamental functional movement, is prone to biomechanical inefficiencies. Several screening batteries utilize the Overhead Deep Squat (OHDS) to assess individuals for stability and mobility deficits. The purpose of this study was to create a comprehensive description of the three-dimensional (3D) kinematics and kinetics for normal, healthy participants during an overhead deep squat. This descriptive study containing 70 healthy young adults (31 male, 39 female; aged 18–35) utilized a video motion tracking system interfaced with force plates to obtain full-body 3D kinematics and kinetics. Seventy-three retro-reflective markers from the combined Plug-in Gait, Vicon upper limb, and Oxford Multi-segment foot models were used. Visual 3D software was used to determine joint kinematics and kinetics. Means and standard deviations of lower limb and trunk segment joint angles in the sagittal, transverse, and horizontal planes, as well as the ground reaction forces and net internal joint moments, were computed. The largest movements and joint moments occurred in the sagittal plane; however, the frontal and transverse plane appear crucial to providing stability and mobility. These results can be used as pilot normative data for both future studies and during assessments of biomechanical abnormalities in training and rehabilitation settings. Full article
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21 pages, 3869 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Measures of Balance during a 90° Turn in Self-Selected Gait in Individuals with Mild Parkinson’s Disease
by Gordon Alderink, Cathy Harro, Lauren Hickox, David W. Zeitler, Marie Bourke, Akeya Gosla and Sarah Rustmann
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 5428; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13095428 - 26 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
The risk of falls is common in the aging and Parkinson’s disease (PD) populations. There is limited research on dynamic gait stability, i.e., margin of stability (MOS), in the PD population while turning. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the [...] Read more.
The risk of falls is common in the aging and Parkinson’s disease (PD) populations. There is limited research on dynamic gait stability, i.e., margin of stability (MOS), in the PD population while turning. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the dynamic balance control in individuals with mild to moderate PD and healthy individuals while walking and performing 90° turns utilizing computerized three-dimensional gait analysis. Specifically, we examined the anteroposterior and mediolateral margins of stability and their effect on the dynamic balance during turning in participants. A total of 11 individuals with mild to moderate idiopathic PD and 10 healthy controls (CON) participated in this study. Individuals with PD were tested during the “on phase” of PD medication. The Vicon Nexus camera system, force plates, and Visual3D software were utilized for three-dimensional motion analysis of three right and three left turning trials. A mixed-model ANOVA was used to analyze the primary dependent variables of dynamic balance (p < 0.0028) and the secondary dependent variables of spatiotemporal gait parameters (p < 0.0056). No significant differences in the spatiotemporal parameters or dynamic balance variables were observed between the groups. Gait velocity, center of mass-center of pressure (COM–COP) inclination angle at midstance, and MOS variables showed marginally significant group differences. We found no differences in dynamic balance during gait while performing turns betweenthe healthy elderly and individuals with PD. This finding may be related to the early stage of disease progression in the PD group. Full article
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15 pages, 3077 KiB  
Article
Two-Dimensional Mechanical Model of Human Stability in External Force-Caused Fall
by Martyna Sopa, Grażyna Sypniewska-Kamińska, Tomasz Walczak and Henryk Kamiński
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 5068; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13085068 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1062
Abstract
The paper proposes a two-dimensional model of human stability. The model allows for gaining data on forces and moments of forces being the effect of musculoskeletal interactions of body parts at human joints. The necessary input data are registered with the use of [...] Read more.
The paper proposes a two-dimensional model of human stability. The model allows for gaining data on forces and moments of forces being the effect of musculoskeletal interactions of body parts at human joints. The necessary input data are registered with the use of an optoelectronic motion capture system, two force plates, and a dynamometer. The latter measures the magnitude of the external force that is randomly applied to cause a backward fall. Therefore, the position of the participant’s body during the experiment, the external force used to cause the fall, and the ground reaction forces are known. The model proposed has the structure of a closed kinematic chain with one loop and two open subchains and uses the Euler–Newton approach to analyse the motion. In addition to external loads, linear and angular accelerations are also needed. To calculate those, we used a variant of approximation. This consists in carrying out a simultaneous approximation of a given function and its first and second derivatives in the subintervals that shift along the whole data range. The experiments conducted include two activities while maintaining a state of equilibrium and the fall itself. This gives the basis for examining whether the internal forces and moments at human joints differ significantly in both these states. The results and conclusions are discussed in the final part of the paper. Full article
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23 pages, 3131 KiB  
Article
The Biomechanical Effects of Cross-Legged Sitting on the Lower Limbs and the Implications in Rehabilitation
by Hadeel Alsirhani, Graham Arnold and Weijie Wang
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 4032; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13064032 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3824
Abstract
Background: While cross-legged-sitting (CLS) posture is widely practised in some communities, its biomechanical effect on the lower limbs is not clear. This study aimed to investigate whether CLS would affect biomechanical parameters in lower limbs during gait. Methods: Thirty healthy volunteers participated in [...] Read more.
Background: While cross-legged-sitting (CLS) posture is widely practised in some communities, its biomechanical effect on the lower limbs is not clear. This study aimed to investigate whether CLS would affect biomechanical parameters in lower limbs during gait. Methods: Thirty healthy volunteers participated in this study and performed CLS on ground for 20 min. Their modes of gait were compared before and after CLS regarding to temporospatial parameters and the kinetic and kinematic parameters in the lower limb joints. Results: CLS significantly increased walking cadence and speed. In kinematics, the ranges of motion for almost all lower limb joints were increased after CLS except the knee in sagittal plane. In kinetics, the medial and lateral forces increased significantly after CLS in the lower limb joints, e.g., the hip posterior force was increased more than 14% on both sides. Furthermore, all hip, knee, and ankle powers were increased significantly after CLS. Conclusion: CLS has a positive impact on the biomechanical parameters of almost all lower limb joints except the knee flexion/extension angle and internal/external joint moments. Therefore, CLS can be used in the daily routine and in any rehabilitation programme to improve the biomechanical parameters of the lower extremities. Full article
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17 pages, 4417 KiB  
Article
Efficient Reachable Workspace Division under Concurrent Task for Human-Robot Collaboration Systems
by Yuan Liu, Wenxuan Zhang, Qian Cheng and Dong Ming
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 2547; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13042547 - 16 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1358
Abstract
Division of the reachable workspace of upper limbs under different visual and physical conditions, finding the efficient reachable area under concurrent task conditions, and using it as a basis to divide the incorporation boundaries that require robot assistance are the focus of this [...] Read more.
Division of the reachable workspace of upper limbs under different visual and physical conditions, finding the efficient reachable area under concurrent task conditions, and using it as a basis to divide the incorporation boundaries that require robot assistance are the focus of this paper. These could be used to rationalize the allocation of human and robot workspaces to maximize the efficiency of multitask completion, which has significant applications in the enhancement of human–robot collaboration (HRC) capabilities. However, research on this has rarely been conducted due to the complexity and diversity of arm movements. In this paper, we considered the physical and visual restrictions of the human operator, extracted the movement data of 10 participants while completing the reaching task, and divided the workspace into five areas (their angles are 0°~44.761°, 44.761°~67.578°, 67.578°~81.108°, 81.108°~153.173°, and 153.173°~180°). Measuring the concurrent task completion times when the target object is in each area, respectively, we demonstrated that areas I~II are efficient, reachable workspaces for the human. In the non-efficient reachable workspaces, the average completion times for HRC were 86.7% for human operators (in area III) and 70.1% (in area IV), with the average number of warnings reduced from 2.5 to 0.4. The average completion time for HRC in area V was 59.3% for the human operator, and the average number of warnings was reduced from 3.5 to 0.5. Adding robotic assistance in this area could improve the efficiency of the HRC systems. This study provided a quantitative evaluation of human concurrent task completion capabilities and the incorporation boundaries of robots, which is a useful reference for achieving efficient HRC. Full article
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