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Primary Publication
Garner, B.A. and Pandy, M.G. (2000). The Obstacle-Set Method for Representing Muscle Paths in Musculoskeletal Models. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 3(1): 1-30. (2000)  View
Abstract

A computational method is introduced for modeling the paths of muscles in the human body. The method is based on the premise that the resultant muscle force acts along the locus of the transverse cross-sectional centroids of the muscle. The path of the muscle is calculated by idealizing its centroid path as a frictionless elastic band, which moves freely over neighboring anatomical constraints such as bones and other muscles. The anatomical constraints, referred to as obstacles, are represented in the model by regular-shaped, rigid bodies such as spheres and cylinders. The obstacles, together with the muscle path, define an obstacle set. It is proposed that the path of any muscle can be modeled using one or more of the following four obstacle sets: single sphere, single cylinder, double cylinder, and sphere-capped cylinder. Assuming that the locus of the muscle centroids is known for an arbitrary joint configuration, the obstacle-set method can be used to calculate the path of the muscle for all other joint configurations. The obstacle-set method accounts not only for the interaction between a muscle and a neighboring anatomical constraint, but also for the way in which this interaction changes with joint configuration. Consequently, it is the only feasible method for representing the paths of muscles which cross joints with multiple degrees of freedom such as the deltoid at the shoulder.

Related Publications
Garner, B.A. and Pandy, M.G. (1999). A Kinematic Model of the Upper Limb Based on the Visible Human Project (VHP) Image Dataset. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 2(2): 107-124. (1999)  View
Abstract

A kinematic model of the arm was developed using high-resolution medical images obtained from the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project (VHP) dataset. The model includes seven joints and uses thirteen degrees of freedom to describe the relative movements of seven upper-extremity bones: the clavicle, scapula, humerus, ulna, radius, carpal bones, and hand. Two holonomic constraints were used to model the articulation between the scapula and the thorax. The kinematic structure of each joint was based on anatomical descriptions reported in the literature. The three joints comprising the shoulder girdle - the sternoclavicular joint, the acromioclavicular joint, and the glenohumeral joint - were each modeled as a three degree-of-freedom, ideal, ball-and-socket joint. The articulations at the elbow and wrist - humeroulnar flexion-extension, radioulnar pronation-supination, radiocarpal flexion-extension, and radiocarpal radial-ulnar deviation - were each modeled as a single degree-of-freedom, ideal, hinge joint. Locations of the joint centers and joint axes were derived by graphically inspecting the three-dimensional surfaces of the reconstructed bones. The relative positions of the bones were defined by fixing a reference frame to each bone; the position and orientation of each reference frame were based on the positions of anatomical landmarks and on the shapes of the reconstructed bone surfaces. Tables are provided which specify the positions and orientations of the joint axes and the bone-fixed reference frames for the model arm.

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