In-Silico Methods in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biotribology

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2020) | Viewed by 21695

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Nowadays, in silico approaches in biomechanics constitute an exciting research area devoted to the possibility of using computer simulations in the description of the mechanical behavior of biological systems with particular reference to their movement, structure, and biotribological interactions. In this research field, studies are often approached using expensive and time-consuming in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro experimental investigations with the aim to obtain useful information in human prosthesis/orthosis design but also in prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring. To date, the possibility of describing the mechanics of the living organism in the language of mathematics, generating sophisticated and useful computer algorithms, has attracted the attention of researchers and encouraged them to develop more and more accurate simulation models, both for understanding the “real” behavior of the investigated biosystems and also for the optimal design of increasingly high-performing devices. Obviously, the accurate modeling of musculoskeletal biomechanics accounting for biotribological issues requires deep knowledge and structured scientific cooperation in multidisciplinary areas, such as musculoskeletal multibody non-linear modeling, muscles and tissues modeling, contact mechanics, synovial lubrication modeling, tribo-corrosion etc.

This Special Issue aims to collect the latest advances in musculoskeletal biomechanical and biotribological modeling in order to allow the scientific community to move toward computer modeling and then in silico investigations. Original theoretical, numerical, and experimental research papers, as well as reviews, dealing with the latest developments on this topic are welcome from both academic researchers and their industrial peers.

This Special Issue will cover principally the following topics:

  • Biomechanics of the musculoskeletal;
  • Mechanics of hard and soft tissues;
  • Dynamic modeling of human motion;
  • Biotribology of natural and artificial human synovial joints;
  • Mechanics of bones and joints;
  • Tribological behavior of biomaterials;
  • Modeling of biomechanical data uncertainty.

Prof. Alessandro Ruggiero
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • in-silico methods
  • biomechanics
  • musculoskeletal models
  • (bio)tribology
  • arthroplasty human synovial joints
  • bones
  • biomaterials.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 3089 KiB  
Article
Biotribology in Arthroplasty: Worn Surfaces Investigation on Ceramic Hip Femoral Heads Considering Wettability
by Saverio Affatato and Alessandro Ruggiero
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 8919; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10248919 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
Ceramic-on-ceramic bearings for total hip replacement are considered the best choice to avoid problems such as osteolysis and wear, mainly related to soft bearings. The aim of this work was to investigate in a comparative way different kinds of ceramic femoral heads for [...] Read more.
Ceramic-on-ceramic bearings for total hip replacement are considered the best choice to avoid problems such as osteolysis and wear, mainly related to soft bearings. The aim of this work was to investigate in a comparative way different kinds of ceramic femoral heads for total hip replacements from a biotribological point of view, discussing the results obtained in terms of topographies, presence of metal transfer (MT) phenomena, and wettability on their worn surfaces in a tribological framework. Different ceramic femoral heads derived from in vitro wear tests, retrieved form patients, and brand new total hip replacements were investigated. The patients group had an average age of 60 years (ranging from 27 to 83). In most cases, the cause of failure was aseptic loosening of the acetabular component. Roughness analyses were performed to measure the tribological surface evolution of the material; an SEM and EDS investigation on the explanted heads proves and quantified MT, while the wettability was measured through a novel optical laboratory set-up with the aim to furnish useful data in the framework of synovial lubrication phenomena acting in the tribosystem. For the average roughness measurements on explanted specimens were considered three parameters (Ra = the average area between the roughness profile and its mean line; Rt = the vertical distance from the deepest valley to the highest peak of the roughness profile; and Rsk = it is the skewness and it is a measure of the asymmetry of the amplitude distribution function. In other words, the skewness indicates whether a surface is dominated by peaks or by valleys) and their values were: Ra 0.22 ± 0.12 μm, Rt 34.5 ± 13.5 μm and Rsk −0.01 ± 11.3; on the new specimens we measured Ra 0.01 ± 0.001 μm, Rt 0.12 ± 0.09 μm, and Rsk = 5.67 ± 8.7; for the in vitro specimens they were Ra 0.05 ± 0.12 μm, Rt 0.71 ± 1.4 μm and Rsk 7.73 ± 20.6. The wettability angle measurements showed hydrophilic surfaces for all femoral heads considered in this study with small differences between the three investigated categories, allowing to discuss their effects on the biobearings’ lubrication phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In-Silico Methods in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biotribology)
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26 pages, 11236 KiB  
Article
A Novel Explicit Analytical Multibody Approach for the Analysis of Upper Limb Dynamics and Joint Reactions Calculation Considering Muscle Wrapping
by Alessandro Ruggiero and Alessandro Sicilia
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7760; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217760 - 02 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2644
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to present an explicit analytical biomechanical multibody procedure able to be implemented in the solution of the musculoskeletal systems inverse dynamics problems. The model is proposed in formal multibody analysis and implemented in the Matlab numerical environment. [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to present an explicit analytical biomechanical multibody procedure able to be implemented in the solution of the musculoskeletal systems inverse dynamics problems. The model is proposed in formal multibody analysis and implemented in the Matlab numerical environment. It is based on the constraint kinematical behaviour analysis and considers both linear muscle actuators and curved ones, by calculating the geodesic muscle path over wrapping surfaces fixed to the bodies. The model includes the Hill muscle approach in order to evaluate both the contractile elements’ actions and the passive ones. With the aim to have a first validation, the model was applied to the dynamical analysis of the “arm26” OpenSim model, an upper limb subjected to external forces of gravity and to known kinematics. The comparison of results shows interesting matching in terms of kinematical analysis, driving forces, muscles’ activations and joint reactions, proving the reliability of the proposed approach in all cases in which it is necessary to achieve in-silico explicit determinations of the upper limb dynamics and joint reactions (i.e., in joint tribological optimization). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In-Silico Methods in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biotribology)
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12 pages, 1950 KiB  
Article
A Perspective on Biotribology in Arthroplasty: From In Vitro toward the Accurate In Silico Wear Prediction
by Saverio Affatato and Alessandro Ruggiero
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6312; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186312 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2036
Abstract
Nowadays hip arthroplasty is recognized as one of the most successful orthopedic surgical procedures, even if it involves challenges to overcome, such that lately, younger and more active patients are in need of total arthroplasty. Wear is still one of the main issues [...] Read more.
Nowadays hip arthroplasty is recognized as one of the most successful orthopedic surgical procedures, even if it involves challenges to overcome, such that lately, younger and more active patients are in need of total arthroplasty. Wear is still one of the main issues affecting joint prostheses endurance, and often causes loosening accompanied by implant failures. Actual in vitro wear tests executed by mechanical simulators have a long duration, are very expensive, and do not take into account all the possible daily activities of the patients; thus, the challenge to obtain a complete in silico tribological and dynamical model of (bio) tribo-systems could give the possibility to overcome the actual testing procedures and could contribute as a tool for a more accurate tribological design of human prostheses. This prospective paper is intended to underline actual research trends toward the challenge of having accurate numerical algorithms to be used both in preclinical testing and in the optimizations of the prostheses design. With this aim we depicted the possible in silico approach in artificial joints’ wear assessment over time, accounting for contact mechanics, numerical stress–strain analysis, musculoskeletal multibody, and synovial lubrication modelling (boundary/mixed, hydrodynamic, and elastohydrodynamic). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In-Silico Methods in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biotribology)
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12 pages, 4891 KiB  
Article
A Biomechanical Study of Various Fixation Strategies for the Treatment of Clavicle Fractures Using Three-Dimensional Upper-Body Musculoskeletal Finite Element Models
by Kao-Shang Shih, Ching-Chi Hsu and Bo-Yu Shih
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(16), 5651; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10165651 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6164
Abstract
Plate or nail fixations have been applied to the repair of clavicle fractures. However, it is quite difficult to fairly evaluate the different clavicle fixation techniques owing to variations in the bone anatomy, bone quality, and fracture pattern. The purpose of this study [...] Read more.
Plate or nail fixations have been applied to the repair of clavicle fractures. However, it is quite difficult to fairly evaluate the different clavicle fixation techniques owing to variations in the bone anatomy, bone quality, and fracture pattern. The purpose of this study was to investigate the biomechanical performances of different fixation techniques applied to a clavicle fracture using the finite element method. A simplified single-clavicle model and a complete human upper-body skeleton model were developed in this study. Three types of plate fixations, namely, superior clavicle plate, anterior clavicle plate, and clavicle anatomic spiral fixations, and one nail fixation, a titanium elastic nail fixation, were investigated and compared. The plate fixation techniques have a better fixation stability compared to the nail fixation technique. However, the nail fixation technique shows lower bone stress and can reduce the risk of a peri-implant fracture compared to the plate fixation techniques. Increasing the number of locking screws for the clavicle plate system can reduce the implant stress. Insertion of the bone plate into the anterior site of the clavicle or a multi-plane fixation is recommended to achieve the required biomechanical performance. A plate fixation revealed a relatively better fixation stability, and a nail fixation showed a lower risk of a peri-implant fracture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In-Silico Methods in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biotribology)
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26 pages, 24456 KiB  
Article
Injury Biomechanics of a Child’s Head: Problems, Challenges and Possibilities with a New aHEAD Finite Element Model
by Johannes Wilhelm, Mariusz Ptak, Fábio A. O. Fernandes, Konrad Kubicki, Artur Kwiatkowski, Monika Ratajczak, Marek Sawicki and Dariusz Szarek
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(13), 4467; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10134467 - 28 Jun 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4818
Abstract
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health problem among children. The predominant causes of TBI in young children are motor vehicle accidents, firearm incidents, falls, and child abuse. The limitation of in vivo studies on the human brain has made the [...] Read more.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health problem among children. The predominant causes of TBI in young children are motor vehicle accidents, firearm incidents, falls, and child abuse. The limitation of in vivo studies on the human brain has made the finite element modelling an important tool to study brain injury. Numerical models based on the finite element approach can provide valuable data on biomechanics of brain tissues and help explain many pathological conditions. This work reviews the existing numerical models of a child’s head. However, the existing literature is very limited in reporting proper geometric representation of a small child’s head. Therefore, an advanced 2-year-old child’s head model, named aHEAD 2yo (aHEAD: advanced Head models for safety Enhancement And medical Development), has been developed, which advances the state-of-the-art. The model is one of the first published in the literature, which entirely consists of hexahedral elements for three-dimensional (3D) structures of the head, such as the cerebellum, skull, and cerebrum with detailed geometry of gyri and sulci. It includes cerebrospinal fluid as Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) and a detailed model of pressurized bringing veins. Moreover, the presented review of the literature showed that material models for children are now one of the major limitations. There is also no unambiguous opinion as to the use of separate materials for gray and white matter. Thus, this work examines the impact of various material models for the brain on the biomechanical response of the brain tissues during the mechanical loading described by Hardy et al. The study compares the inhomogeneous models with the separation of gray and white matter against the homogeneous models, i.e., without the gray/white matter separation. The developed model along with its verification aims to establish a further benchmark in finite element head modelling for children and can potentially provide new insights into injury mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In-Silico Methods in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biotribology)
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Review

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16 pages, 520 KiB  
Review
Accuracy and Reliability of Local Positioning Systems for Measuring Sport Movement Patterns in Stadium-Scale: A Systematic Review
by Markel Rico-González, Asier Los Arcos, Filipe M. Clemente, Daniel Rojas-Valverde and José Pino-Ortega
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(17), 5994; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10175994 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3609
Abstract
The use of valid, accurate and reliable systems is decisive for ensuring the data collection and correct interpretation of the values. Several studies have reviewed these aspects on the measurement of movement patterns by high-definition cameras (VID) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) but [...] Read more.
The use of valid, accurate and reliable systems is decisive for ensuring the data collection and correct interpretation of the values. Several studies have reviewed these aspects on the measurement of movement patterns by high-definition cameras (VID) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) but not by Local Positioning Systems (LPS). Thus, the aim of the review was to summarize the evidence about the validity and reliability of LPS technology to measure movement patterns at human level in outdoor and indoor stadium-scale. The authors systematically searched three electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science and SPORTDiscus) to extract studies published before 21 October 2019. A Boolean search phrase was created to include sport (population; 8 keywords), search terms relevant to intervention technology (intervention technology; 6 keywords) and measure outcomes of the technology (outcomes; 7 keywords). From the 62 articles found, 16 were included in the qualitative synthesis. This systematic review revealed that the tested LPS systems proved to be valid and accurate in determining the position and estimating distances and speeds, although they were not valid or their accuracy decreased when measuring instantaneous speed, peak accelerations or decelerations or monitoring particular conditions (e.g., changes of direction, turns). Considering the variability levels, the included studies showed that LPS provide a reliable way to measure distance variables and athletes’ average speed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In-Silico Methods in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biotribology)
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