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A novel approach to the prediction of musculotendon paths

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Swailes


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One of the most important aspects of the modelling of musculoskeletal systems is the determination of muscle moment arms which are dependent upon the paths of the muscles. These paths are often required to wrap around passive structures that can be modelled as simple geometric shapes. A novel technique for the prediction of the paths of muscles modelled as strings when wrapping around smooth analytical surfaces is presented. The theory of geodesics is used to calculate the shortest path of the string on the surface and a smoothness constraint is used to determine the correct solutions for the string path between insertions. The application of the technique to tapered cylinders and ellipsoids is presented as an extension of previous work on right‐circular cylinders and spheres. The technique is assessed with reference to a particular biomechanical scenario; string lengths and moment arms are calculated and compared with alternative approximate methods. This illustrates the potential of the technique to provide more accurate muscle moment arm predictions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marsden SM, Swailes DC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Institution of Mechanical Engineers Proceedings Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine

Year: 2008

Volume: 222

Issue: 1

Pages: 51-61

ISSN (print): 0954-4119

ISSN (electronic): 2041-3033

Publisher: Professional Engineering Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1243/09544119JEIM297


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