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Development of a Biomechanical Testing Platform for the Study of the Human Knee Joint

Gil, Jorge Enrique (2004) Development of a Biomechanical Testing Platform for the Study of the Human Knee Joint. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The knee joint is a sophisticated biological mechanism involved in locomotion at the lower extremity. Despite its apparently simple motion during gait, the knee actually features complex 6-DOF kinematic patterns and 3D force distributions, stemming from the biomechanical interdependence of its component tissues, that become upset during injury and are difficult to restore with existing clinical treatments. In the interest of studying and characterizing the mechanics of the knee, a robotic/UFS testing system, capable of recording the complexity of joint kinematics and of the forces transmitted by the soft-tissues in response to meaningful loading conditions, has been used by various laboratories to obtain quantitative data with which to evaluate injury mechanisms, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. This system has been successfully used to quantify the mechanical behavior of ligaments and their reconstruction grafts, menisci and cartilage, in response to a variety of experimental conditions. The effort of this work is to modernize the robotic/UFS testing system by upgrading its software control to manage more general and realistic loading conditions. The resulting software system, named the biomechanical testing platform, is expected to ultimately integrate the operation of the robotic/UFS testing system with that of other valuable experimental and computational approaches aimed at the study of the human knee joint.The biomechanical testing platform is designed with the use of state-of-the-art development technologies and comprises the mathematical formulations, control algorithms, and data abstractions specialized to a clinically relevant description of the kinematics and kinetics of the human knee. The system accommodates logical choices of hardware, motion description, iterative algorithms, as well as the use of automatic regression verifications. The biomechanical testing platform is demonstrated with a homologous experiment to that of the robotic/UFS testing system: the measurement of in situ forces in the ACL of a cadaver specimen, in response to anterior-posterior (translation) and varus-valgus (rotation) tibial loads. Furthermore, an application with concurrent interoperability between the robotic/UFS testing system and a computational analysis method is proposed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gil, Jorge
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSavio L Y, Wooslyw@pitt.eduSLYW
Committee MemberMcMahon,
Committee MemberDebski, Richard Egenesis1@pitt.eduGENESIS1
Date: 2 February 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 11 November 2003
Approval Date: 2 February 2004
Submission Date: 17 November 2003
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: MSBeng - Master of Science in Bioengineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biomechanics; Hybrid Control; In-situ Force; Kinematics; Knee; Object-Oriented; Robotics; Software Framework; Testing Platform
Other ID:, etd-11172003-121731
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:05
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:51


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