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Concept: Biomechanics

250

At 50 kg in estimated weight, the extinct Siamogale melilutra is larger than all living otters, and ranks among the largest fossil otters. The biomechanical capability of S. melilutra jaws as related to their large size is unknown but crucial to reconstructing the species' potentially unique ecological niche. Here we compare the mandibular biomechanics of S. melilutra using engineering-based performance measures against ten extant otter biomechanical models. Despite a wide range of feeding preferences from durophagy to piscivory, living otter species exhibit a linear relationship between mandible stiffness and volume, as expected in isometric model scaling. In contrast, S. melilutra models exhibit a six-fold increase in stiffness from expected stiffness-volume relationships calculated from extant species models. Unlike stiffness, mechanical efficiency of biting is conserved among living otters and in S. melilutra. These findings indicate that although similar to living bunodont otters in morphology and biting efficiency, jaw strength in S. melilutra far surpasses molluscivores such as sea otters and Cape clawless otters, even after accounting for size. Therefore, Siamogale represents a feeding ecomorphology with no living analog, and its giant size and high mandibular strength confer shell-crushing capability matched only by other extinct molluscivores such as the marine bear Kolponomos.

Concepts: Biomechanics, Extinction, Otters, Mustelidae, Sea otter, Otter, Extant taxon, Aonyx

173

Classic beam theory is frequently used in biomechanics to model the stress behaviour of vertebrate long bones, particularly when creating intraspecific scaling models. Although methodologically straightforward, classic beam theory requires complex irregular bones to be approximated as slender beams, and the errors associated with simplifying complex organic structures to such an extent are unknown. Alternative approaches, such as finite element analysis (FEA), while much more time-consuming to perform, require no such assumptions. This study compares the results obtained using classic beam theory with those from FEA to quantify the beam theory errors and to provide recommendations about when a full FEA is essential for reasonable biomechanical predictions. High-resolution computed tomographic scans of eight vertebrate long bones were used to calculate diaphyseal stress owing to various loading regimes. Under compression, FEA values of minimum principal stress (σ(min)) were on average 142 per cent (±28% s.e.) larger than those predicted by beam theory, with deviation between the two models correlated to shaft curvature (two-tailed p = 0.03, r(2) = 0.56). Under bending, FEA values of maximum principal stress (σ(max)) and beam theory values differed on average by 12 per cent (±4% s.e.), with deviation between the models significantly correlated to cross-sectional asymmetry at midshaft (two-tailed p = 0.02, r(2) = 0.62). In torsion, assuming maximum stress values occurred at the location of minimum cortical thickness brought beam theory and FEA values closest in line, and in this case FEA values of τ(torsion) were on average 14 per cent (±5% s.e.) higher than beam theory. Therefore, FEA is the preferred modelling solution when estimates of absolute diaphyseal stress are required, although values calculated by beam theory for bending may be acceptable in some situations.

Concepts: Interval finite element, Finite element method, Model, Biomechanics, Solid mechanics, Beam, Torsion, Structural analysis

164

Numerous studies have been completed on glaucoma pathogenesis. However, the potential and controversial interaction between ocular biomechanical properties and the glaucomatous diseases process has received much more attention recently. Previous studies have found that collagen tissues gain mutation change in glaucoma patients. This study was conducted to determine the role of collagen in the biomechanics of glaucoma in humans. Its changes may be the result of mechanical modifications brought on by intraocular pressure (IOP) fluctuations. More importantly, biomechanics and genetic evidence indicate that the mutation of collagen may play a role in the process of glaucoma. Alteration of collagen in the outflow pathway may alter mechanical tissue characteristics and a concomitant increase of aqueous humor outflow resistance and elevation of IOP. The variations of collagen, leading to inter-individual differences in scleral and lamina cribrosa properties, result in different susceptibility of individuals to elevated IOP. Therefore, this study hypothesized that collagen mutations may be an original cause of glaucoma.

Concepts: Bone, Genetics, Mutation, Cartilage, Cornea, Intraocular pressure, Biomechanics, Aqueous humour

143

The objective of this study was to determine whether kinematic data collected by the Microsoft Kinect 2 (MK2) could be used to quantify postural stability in healthy subjects. Twelve subjects were recruited for the project, and were instructed to perform a sequence of simple postural stability tasks. The movement sequence was performed as subjects were seated on top of a force platform, and the MK2 was positioned in front of them. This sequence of tasks was performed by each subject under three different postural conditions: “both feet on the ground” (1), “One foot off the ground” (2), and “both feet off the ground” (3). We compared force platform and MK2 data to quantify the degree to which the MK2 was returning reliable data across subjects. We then applied a novel machine-learning paradigm to the MK2 data in order to determine the extent to which data from the MK2 could be used to reliably classify different postural conditions. Our initial comparison of force plate and MK2 data showed a strong agreement between the two devices, with strong Pearson correlations between the trunk centroids “Spine_Mid” (0.85 ± 0.06), “Neck” (0.86 ± 0.07) and “Head” (0.87 ± 0.07), and the center of pressure centroid inferred by the force platform. Mean accuracy for the machine learning classifier from MK2 was 97.0%, with a specific classification accuracy breakdown of 90.9%, 100%, and 100% for conditions 1 through 3, respectively. Mean accuracy for the machine learning classifier derived from the force platform data was lower at 84.4%. We conclude that data from the MK2 has sufficient information content to allow us to classify sequences of tasks being performed under different levels of postural stability. Future studies will focus on validating this protocol on large populations of individuals with actual balance impairments in order to create a toolkit that is clinically validated and available to the medical community.

Concepts: Validation, Artificial intelligence, Biomechanics, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Measuring instrument, Noun class, Force platform, Center of mass

136

Appropriate hoof preparation and symmetry are linked to the wellbeing of the horse. Previous studies have shown the efficacy of the pressure plates (PP) in delivering objective biomechanical analysis. We aimed to assess the effect of hoof trimming on hoof biomechanics using a PP. Nine clinically sound Arabian horses were walked across the PP while foot strike was recorded by a digital camera. Kinetic and kinematic parameters were recorded before and after trimming. P values ≤ 0.05 were considered significant. Vertical force (P = 0.026) and contact pressure (P = 0.006), increased after trimming. Stance phase duration (P = 0.006), swing phase duration (P = 0.023) and gait cycle duration (P = 0.007), decreased significantly post-trimming. The observed changes in kinetic and kinematic parameters are related to hoof trimming. The reported results underline the importance of the farriery practice and its effect on hoof biomechanics, which should be considered by farriers and veterinarians.

Concepts: Horse, Biomechanics, Classical mechanics, Velocity, Kinematics, Walking, Horse hoof, Farrier

31

Quantitative biomechanical models can identify control parameters that are used during movements, and movement parameters that are encoded by premotor neurons. We fit a mathematical dynamical systems model including subsyringeal pressure, syringeal biomechanics and upper-vocal-tract filtering to the songs of zebra finches. This reduces the dimensionality of singing dynamics, described as trajectories (motor ‘gestures’) in a space of syringeal pressure and tension. Here we assess model performance by characterizing the auditory response ‘replay’ of song premotor HVC neurons to the presentation of song variants in sleeping birds, and by examining HVC activity in singing birds. HVC projection neurons were excited and interneurons were suppressed within a few milliseconds of the extreme time points of the gesture trajectories. Thus, the HVC precisely encodes vocal motor output through activity at the times of extreme points of movement trajectories. We propose that the sequential activity of HVC neurons is used as a ‘forward’ model, representing the sequence of gestures in song to make predictions on expected behaviour and evaluate feedback.

Concepts: Time, Mathematics, Cerebral cortex, Force, Biomechanics, Song, Dynamical system, Vocal music

29

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) has known biomechanical factors with an unclear explanation based on only strength and flexibility deficits. Neuromuscular coordination has emerged as a likely reason for kinematic faults guiding research toward motor control. This article discusses ITBS in relation to muscle performance factors, fascial considerations, epidemiology, functional anatomy, strength deficits, kinematics, iliotibial strain and strain rate, and biomechanical considerations. Evidence-based exercise approaches are reviewed for ITBS, including related methods used to train the posterior hip muscles.

Concepts: Muscle, Motor control, Muscular system, Biomechanics, Classical mechanics, Acceleration, Neuromuscular disease, Iliotibial band syndrome

28

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating disease that reflects a complex interplay of biochemical, biomechanical, metabolic and genetic factors, which are often triggered by injury, and mediated by inflammation, catabolic cytokines and enzymes. An unmet clinical need is the lack of reliable methods that are able to probe the pathogenesis of early OA when disease-rectifying therapies may be most effective. Non-invasive quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) techniques have shown potential for characterizing the structural, biochemical and mechanical changes that occur with cartilage degeneration. In this paper, we review the background in articular cartilage and OA as it pertains to conventional MRI and qMRI techniques. We then discuss how conventional MRI and qMRI techniques are used in clinical and research environments to evaluate biochemical and mechanical changes associated with degeneration. Some qMRI techniques allow for the use of relaxometry values as indirect biomarkers for cartilage components. Direct characterization of mechanical behaviour of cartilage is possible via other specialized qMRI techniques. The combination of these qMRI techniques has the potential to fully characterize the biochemical and biomechanical states that represent the initial changes associated with cartilage degeneration. Additionally, knowledge of in vivo cartilage biochemistry and mechanical behaviour in healthy subjects and across a spectrum of osteoarthritic patients could lead to improvements in the detection, management and treatment of OA.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Cartilage, Osteoarthritis, Magnetic resonance imaging, Biomechanics, Metabolic pathway, Articular cartilage damage

28

: The aims of this study were as follows: to determine if the presence of the nail entry zone alters the biomechanics of the proximal tibia after intramedullary (IM) nailing using a computational model; to determine if nail removal restores normal biomechanics to the proximal tibia; and to determine if these effects are magnified with anterior cortical bone loss.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone, Skeletal system, Biomechanics, Computational model

28

Turtle shells are a form of armor that provides varying degrees of protection against predation. Although this function of the shell as armor is widely appreciated, the mechanical limits of protection and the modes of failure when subjected to breaking stresses have not been well explored. We studied the mechanical properties of whole shells and of isolated bony tissues and sutures in four species of turtles (Trachemys scripta, Malaclemys terrapin, Chrysemys picta, and Terrapene carolina) using a combination of structural and mechanical tests. Structural properties were evaluated by subjecting whole shells to compressive and point loads in order to quantify maximum load, work to failure, and relative shell deformations. The mechanical properties of bone and sutures from the plastral region of the shell were evaluated using three-point bending experiments. Analysis of whole shell structural properties suggests that small shells undergo relatively greater deformations before failure than do large shells and similar amounts of energy are required to induce failure under both point and compressive loads. Location of failures occurred far more often at sulci than at sutures (representing the margins of the epidermal scutes and the underlying bones, respectively), suggesting that the small grooves in the bone created by the sulci introduce zones of weakness in the shell. Values for bending strength, ultimate bending strain, Young’s modulus, and energy absorption, calculated from the three-point bending data, indicate that sutures are relatively weaker than the surrounding bone, but are able to absorb similar amounts of energy due to higher ultimate strain values. J. Exp. Zool. 9999A:1-13, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Turtle, Biomechanics, Failure, Turtles, Keratin, Diamondback terrapin, Reptiles of the United States, Emydidae