Altered gait biomechanics associated with pediatric obesity may increase the risk of musculoskeletal injury/pathology during physical activity and/or diminish a child’s ability to engage in sufficient physical activity. The biomechanical mechanisms responsible for the altered gait in obese children are not well understood, particularly as they relate to increases in adipose tissue. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of adiposity (i.e. body fat percentage, BF%) on lower extremity kinematics, muscle force requirements and their individual contributions to the acceleration of the center of mass (COM) during walking. We scaled a musculoskeletal model to the anthropometrics of each participant (n=14, 8-12 years old, BF%: 16-41%) and generated dynamic simulations of walking to predict muscle forces and their contributions to the acceleration of the COM. Muscle force output was normalized to muscle mass. BF% was correlated with average knee flexion angle during stance (r=−0.54) and pelvic obliquity range of motion (r=0.78), as well as with relative vasti (r=−0.60), gluteus medius (r=0.65) and soleus (r=0.59) force production. Contributions to COM acceleration from the vasti were negatively correlated to BF% (vertical: r=−0.75, posterior: r=−0.68, respectively), but there was no correlation between BF% and COM accelerations produced by the gluteus medius. The functional demands and relative force requirements of the hip abductors during walking in pediatric obesity may contribute to altered gait kinematics. Our results provide insight into the muscle force requirements during walking in pediatric obesity that may be used to improve the quality/quantity of locomotor activity in this population.
Mechanosensitive cells, such as osteocytes in bone, are capable of translating mechanical stimuli into cellular responses. This phenomenon can be widely found in cells throughout the body, and yet little is known about the mechanisms and pathways by which this occurs. Research in this field has focused on creating in vitro models that better reflect the in vivo environment in order to study these mechanisms and pathways. Where many variations on these systems exists, one major goal in improving these models is to use fewer cells in order to observe the response of specific cells and possibly more meaningful data. Using an uniaxial loading device, a substrate with cells seeded onto it can be mechanically strained and the response of these fewer cells can be quantified. In this study, two substrates of varying geometry are proposed that allow for a gradient of mechanical strains to be applied to cultured cells. These designs are characterized and compared using both physical and simulated testing. Utilizing designs, such as the ones used for these substrates, enables the effects of a wide range of mechanical strains on cells to be observed and studied under identical culture and loading environments
Mechanotransduction studies aim to understand the process of cells converting mechanical stimuli into a cellular response. As it can be difficult to study the impact of isolated factors using in vivo studies, in vitro studies may offer more precisely controlled loads for experiments and allow cell culture on a variety of surfaces. Here, we developed a microloading platform for in vitro mechanotransduction studies, stretching the substrate by tenting it with a centrally contacting platen. This platform works through the use of a load cell and microactuator, which was characterized by comparing the reported and measured displacements. In addition, an alignment block was designed for the microloading platform to improve reproducibility between studies, and a cell culture handling system was designed to hold samples before experimentation and reduce preloads, allowing the study of only the controlled loading. A polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) scaffold was also designed for cell loading, complete with a positional reference grid for observing the response of individual cells to strain. Initial work with this microloading platform includes studying osteocyte like MLO-Y4 cells, and changes in viability in response to mechanical load in vitro. These initial studies have demonstrated the ability to induce cell death in response to mechanical load.
This work introduces the Penn Haptic Texture Toolkit (HaTT), a publicly available repository of haptic texture models for use by the research community. HaTT includes 100 haptic texture and friction models, the recorded data from which the models were made, images of the textures, and the code and methods necessary to render these textures using an impedance-type haptic interface such as a SensAble Phantom Omni. This work reviews our previously developed methods for modeling haptic virtual textures, describes our technique for modeling Coulomb friction between a tooltip and a surface, discusses the adaptation of our rendering methods for display using an impedance-type haptic device, and provides an overview of the information included in the toolkit. Each texture and friction model was based on a ten-second recording of the force, speed, and high-frequency acceleration experienced by a handheld tool moved by an experimenter against the surface in a natural manner. We modeled each texture’s recorded acceleration signal as a piecewise autoregressive (AR) process and stored the individual AR models in a Delaunay triangulation as a function of the force and speed used when recording the data. Measurements of the user’s instantaneous normal force and tangential speed are used to synthesize texture vibrations in real time. These vibrations are transformed into a texture force vector that is added to the friction and normal force vectors for display to the user.
Conventional compression tests provide little depth-dependent information about a sample. Even though a nondestructive compression test could be developed it would not provide depth-dependent information about a sample. Samples could appear normal in compression but be weak in shear due to internal inhomogeneities. We will develop acoustic methods to nondestructively estimate regional mechanical properties of inhomogeneous constructs while they reside in the sterile environment of a bioreactor.
During osteoarthritis (OA), the lubricity of synovial fluid (SF) decreases. Therefore, we synthesized a novel, 2MDa polymer biolubricant (“2M TEG”) designed to augment the lubricating properties of SF in OA. This study’s aims were 1) to compare the abilities of 2M TEG and bovine synovial fluid (BSF) to reduce the coefficient of friction (COF) for previously “worn” cartilage specimens during a long-duration, torsional, wear test, and 2) using the same regimen, examine the “reversibility” of 2M TEG’s lubricity relative to BSF. For both aims, each wear test consisted of subjecting mated, bovine osteochondral plug pairs to 10,080 rotations. To accomplish Aim 1, plug pairs were subjected to three sequential wear regimens (Wear 1-3). Wear 1&2 were used to progressively “wear” the cartilage, and Wear 3 was used to test the efficacy of either BSF (n=4) or 2M TEG (n=4) on “worn” cartilage. For Aim 2, three pairs were subjected to four sequential wear regimens, where the lubricants were BSF, BSF, 2M TEG, and BSF, respectively. The relative percent reduction in COF between Wear 3 and Wear 2 in Aim 1 was greatest for 2M TEG, followed by BSF. For Aim 2, the mean percent reduction in COF for Wear 3 relative to Wear 2 was almost exactly the same as the mean increase in COF for Wear 4 relative to Wear 3. By reducing the COF for worn cartilage in OA joints, synthetic biolubricants such as 2M TEG could help minimize further cartilage wear and ameliorate the progression of OA.
The inherent reduction in mechanical loading associated with microgravity has been shown to result in dramatic decreases in the bone mineral density (BMD) and mechanical strength of skeletal tissue. Importantly, there is a concomitant increase in fracture risk during long-duration spaceflight missions. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of microgravity loading on long-bone fracture healing in a previously-developed Haversian bone model of simulated microgravity over a 4-week period. For in vivo mechanical evaluation, strains of an implanted orthopaedic fixation plate were quantified for known hindlimb ground reaction forces with a six degree-of-freedom load cell (AMTI, Watertown, MA). In vivo strain measurements demonstrated significantly higher orthopaedic plate strains in the Microgravity Group as compared to the Control Group following the 28-day healing period due to inhibited healing in the microgravity environment. DEXA BMD in the treated metatarsus of the Microgravity Group decreased 17.6% at the time of the ostectomy surgery and decreased an additional 5.4% during the 28-day healing period. Four-point bending stiffness of the Microgravity Group was 4.4 times lower than that of the Control Group (p<0.01), while µCT and histomorphometry demonstrated reduced periosteal callus area, mineralizing surface, mineral apposition rate (p<0.001), bone formation rate, and periosteal/endosteal osteoblast numbers as well as increased periosteal osteoclast number. These data provide strong evidence that the mechanical loading environment dramatically affects the fracture healing cascade and resultant mineralized tissue strength, and that the microgravity loading environment has negative effects on fracture healing in Haversian systems.
This study investigated the association of serum C-propeptide (sCPII), urinary CTX-II (uCTX-II), and uCTX-II:sCPII with peak vertical ground reaction force (PVGRF) and quadriceps strength during jump-landing in patients with ACL reconstruction (ACLR). METHODS: twenty two patients with ACLR (Male=14, age=19.6 ± 4 yr) were tested 20 weeks after the surgery. Blood and urine samples were collected. sCPII and uCTX-II, biomarkers of articular degradation and synthesis respectively, were analyze using commercial ELISAs. Subjects performed 3 trials of a forward drop land and a drop vertical jump. Subjects started on a 20 cm step and landed on a force platform (AMTI). PVGRF was analyzed on the surgical side. Quadriceps strength (PKET) was assessed with an isokinetic dynamometer (60°/s). PVGRF and PKET were normalized to body weight (BW). Pearson’s correlation, with and without adjustment for age, was used to analyze associations among variables. RESULTS: Mean (± SD) log concentrations were 2.88 ± 0.19 and 3.32 ± 0.49 ng/mmol for sCPII and uCTX-II respectively; and for uCTXII:CPII was 1.16 ± 0.18. PVGRF was 3.2 BW ± 0.3 and 1.4 BW ± 0.3 for the forward drop land and drop vertical jump tasks, respectively; PKET was 0.92 BW ± 0.2. There were no significant correlations among variables (p≥0.2), except for a trend towards a positive correlation between PKET and uCTXII:sCPII (r = 406, p = .076). CONCLUSSIONS: Biomarkers of type II collagen metabolism were not associated with jump-landing forces. However, higher quadriceps strength may be associated with a shift in articular cartilage metabolism towards degradation.
Eccentric training may affect the longitudinal adaptation of the muscle. Usually the muscle fiber lengthening during eccentric training is measured by the joint kinematics. Due to tendon compliance, this method offers insufficient information about the muscle fiber behavior. The present study investigated the muscle fiber behavior of the Vastus Lateralis muscle (VL) during eccentric knee contractions in humans by measuring the changes of fascicle length in vivo with ultrasonography, at force levels of 65% and 95% of the maximum voluntary isometric contraction force (MVC). Seven young adults were tested by a Biodex. They performed eccentric knee contractions with one leg at 65% and 95% of their MVC (knee angle 25°-100°, angular velocity 90°/s). Potential joint axis deviations were recorded using a Vicon camera system. Exerted knee moments were captured synchronously with the Vicon system at 1000Hz. Fascicle length of the VL muscle visualized by a 10cm Ultrasound prob. The means and standard deviations of fascicle elongation at 65% and 95% of the MVC were 42.71±8.54mm and 39.11±10.64mm respectively, with no statistically significant difference between both conditions. All subjects showed a plateau or slide decrease in fascicle length at the beginning of the movement. This slight decrease in fascicle length, which occurs despite a lengthening of the VL muscle-tendon unite, can be explained by the tendon compliance. The similar fascicle elongation between the two conditions (65% vs. 95% MVC) reveals that the amplitude of the force level during eccentric knee extension contractions does not affect the lengthening of the fascicle.
A high incidence of lower extremity injuries has been reported in runners, with half of the injuries occurring at the knee joint. Sagittal plane trunk posture was shown to influence hip and knee kinetics during landing. This suggests trunk posture may be a risk factor of running injuries. The purpose of this study was aimed to examine the influence of sagittal plane trunk posture on hip and knee kinetics during running. Forty runners were recruited. Three-dimensional kinematics (250Hz, Qualisys) and ground reaction force data (1500Hz, AMTI) were collected while subjects ran with a self-selected trunk posture (speed: 3.4m/s). Mean trunk flexion angle and peak hip and knee extensor moments during the stance phase were calculated. Subjects were dichotomized into High-Flex and Low-Flex groups based on trunk flexion angles. On average, the two groups demonstrate 7.4°difference in trunk flexion. Independent t-tests showed that the Low-Flex group demonstrated significantly higher knee extensor moments and lower hip extensor moments compared to the High-Flex group. Pearson correlations showed that trunk flexion angle was positively correlated with peak hip extensor moment (r=0.44) and inversely correlated with peak knee extensor moment (r=-0.51). The results suggested a small difference in trunk flexion angle has significant influences on hip and knee kinetics. Individuals who run with a more upright trunk posture may be predisposed to a higher risk of patellar tendinopathy and patellofemoral pain. Incorporating a forward lean trunk may be utilized as an intervention strategy to reduce knee loading and risk of knee injuries in runners.