New Solution Available to Streamline Joint Biomechanics Research

Collecting and analyzing joint biomechanics data is a complicated process, often requiring several systems to capture essential data needed for analysis. With this in mind, the BioRobotics Lab has developed a solution to help streamline and simplify this process – the simVITRO system.

Their simVITRO system consists of hardware and software optimized for orthopedic biomechanical testing. A robotic system moves joints and applies specified loads for testing, while the specialized software integrates with hardware from various robot and sensor manufacturers, including Tekscan. Software components are available for biomechanical testing for nearly any range of motion for any joint, including knee, hip, spine, shoulder, foot/ankle, hand/wrist or elbow. It can easily transmit and time synchronize data in one software, saving time and effort during the research process.

Ahmet Erdemir, PhD, Principal Investigator at the Cleveland Clinic who uses a simVITRO system for his research, comments, “Our research program has been committed to acquisition and dissemination of anatomical imaging and mechanics data to build virtual specimens [1-4]. We aim to acquire comprehensive data on cadaver foot/ankle specimens spanning detailed anatomical imaging, kinematics-kinetics of the ankle joint and the hindfoot, and plantar pressures.”

 

simVITRO Robot & Tekscan Joint Pressure Mapping: See it in Action!

The video below, courtesy of the BioRobotics Lab, shows how simVITRO collects data for the development of virtual feet for biomechanical simulations. As simVITRO moves the cadaver foot, the Tekscan F-Scan System collects pressure data from underneath the plantar surface. Funding from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute helped make this research possible.

The video demonstrates how bounds on ankle kinematics are explored while tracking the motions of the tibia, fibula, talus, calcaneus and 2nd metatarsal bones. Additionally, the system is measuring ground reaction forces and plantar pressures. All data is time synchronized and will be used in model development and/or verification.

Erdemir comments, ‘When available, these data will provide the foundation for development of virtual feet for biomechanical simulations. In the spirit of our open development projects, e.g., Open Knee(s) [2], we will make all the data publicly available to build a growing database, e.g., Open Foot. This specific support mechanism will help us conduct pilot experimentation to modify and finalize testing protocols.’

 

The video demonstrates the integration of the simVITRO robot with Tekscan’s F-Scan Pressure Mapping System. Video courtesy of the BioRobotics Lab.

 

Streamlined Joint Biomechanics Research

Additionally, the BioRobotics lab has developed publically available drivers to help simplify the data collection process. Now you can synchronize multiple technologies in one platform using their Tekscan Network Drivers. These LabVIEW drivers provide the ability to synchronize Tekscan’s Evolution and Versatek Electronics (i.e. F-Scan, K-Scan, I-Scan Systems) or other third party system data, such as motion capture.  

Learn more about more about these capabilities and the LabVIEW Drivers here.

Learn more about Tekscan’s joint analysis system, K-Scan, which uses ultra-thin pressure sensors to capture peak pressure, contact area and forces for quantified analysis of joint function, here.

References

1. Erdemir A, Sirimamilla PA, Halloran JP, van den Bogert AJ. An elaborate data set characterizing the mechanical response of the foot. J Biomech Eng. 2009 Sep;131(9):094502.

2. Erdemir A. Open Knee: open source modeling and simulation in knee biomechanics. J Knee Surg. 2016 Feb;29(2):107-16.

3. Chokhandre S, Colbrunn R, Bennetts C, Erdemir A. A comprehensive specimen-specific multiscale data set for anatomical and mechanical characterization of the tibiofemoral joint. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 18;10(9):e0138226.

4. Neumann EE, Owings TM, Schimmoeller T, Nagle TF, Colbrunn RW, Landis B, Jelovsek JE, Wong M, Ku JP, Erdemir A. Reference data on thickness and mechanics of tissue layers and anthropometry of musculoskeletal extremities. Sci Data. 2018 Sep 25;5:180193.