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Multi-level personalization of neuromusculoskeletal models to estimate physiologically plausible knee joint contact forces in children

  • Davico, Giorgio;
  • Lloyd, David G.;
  • Carty, Christopher P.;
  • Killen, Bryce A.; 130218;
  • Devaprakash, Daniel;
  • Pizzolato, Claudio;
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2022
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Neuromusculoskeletal models are a powerful tool to investigate the internal biomechanics of an individual. However, commonly used neuromusculoskeletal models are generated via linear scaling of generic templates derived from elderly adult anatomies and poorly represent a child, let alone children with a neuromuscular disorder whose musculoskeletal structures and muscle activation patterns are profoundly altered. Model personalization can capture abnormalities and appropriately describe the underlying (altered) biomechanics of an individual. In this work, we explored the effect of six different levels of neuromusculoskeletal model personalization on estimates of muscle forces and knee joint contact forces to tease out the importance of model personalization for normal and abnormal musculoskeletal structures and muscle activation patterns. For six children, with and without cerebral palsy, generic scaled models were developed and progressively personalized by (1) tuning and calibrating musculotendon units' parameters, (2) implementing an electromyogram-assisted approach to synthesize muscle activations, and (3) replacing generic anatomies with image-based bony geometries, and physiologically and physically plausible muscle kinematics. Biomechanical simulations of gait were performed in the OpenSim and CEINMS software on ten overground walking trials per participant. A mixed-ANOVA test, with Bonferroni corrections, was conducted to compare all models' estimates. The model with the highest level of personalization produced the most physiologically plausible estimates. Model personalization is crucial to produce physiologically plausible estimates of internal biomechanical quantities. In particular, personalization of musculoskeletal anatomy and muscle activation patterns had the largest effect overall. Increased research efforts are needed to ease the creation of personalized neuromusculoskeletal models. / status: published

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