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Award Abstract #0966742

Collaborative Research: Multi-Domain Computational Framework for Simulating Musculoskeletal Systems

Div Of Chem, Bioeng, Env, & Transp Sys
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Initial Amendment Date: August 16, 2010
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Latest Amendment Date: August 16, 2010
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Award Number: 0966742
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Ted A. Conway
CBET Div Of Chem, Bioeng, Env, & Transp Sys
ENG Directorate For Engineering
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Start Date: September 1, 2010
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End Date: August 31, 2013 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $173,408.00
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Investigator(s): Yasin Dhaher y-dhaher@northwestern.edu (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
345 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2654 (312)238-4534
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NSF Program(s): Gen & Age Rel Disabilities Eng
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Program Reference Code(s): 010E
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Program Element Code(s): 5342


PI: Thelen, Darryl G., Negrut, Dan, and Dhaher, Yasin

Proposal Number: 0966535 & 0966742

Individuals who experience knee ligament injuries are at high risk for early onset osteoarthritis, which can result in chronic pain and loss of function. It is believed that biomechanical factors may contribute to such long term problems, with abnormal cartilage loading inducing secondary micro-trauma and joint degeneration processes. The goal of this study is to establish a validated computational framework that would be used to investigate how injury (e.g. partial or full ligament tears), surgical (e.g. ligament reattachment sites, soft tissue tensioning) and rehabilitative (e.g. stretching, muscle re-training) factors can alter tissue loading during movement. Two research aims focus technical effort to meet the stated goal.

The first aim involves the construction of subject-specific, finite element (FE) knee models from high resolution medical images. The FE models include continuum descriptions of connective tissues, and uniquely account for interactions between the tibio-femoral and patella-femoral joints. The second aim investigates a computational approach for predicting knee kinematics, ligament strains and cartilage loading during movement. A co-simulation framework is proposed in which finite element models are solved simultaneously with multi-body and musculo-tendon dynamics, thereby accounting for inherent interactions that exist between knee mechanics and movement dynamics. Bayesian analysis techniques will be used to both statistically calibrate and validate the computational models by comparing model predictions to in vivo measures obtained using dynamic magnetic resonance imaging.

The outreach objectives are to: 1) educate medical practitioners about the inherent coupling between movement and internal joint mechanics that arise naturally during functional tasks, 2) engage minority high school students from Wisconsin and Illinois in Computational Science related activities. The research/education integration plan involves the development of case studies for the physiatry residency program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). By relying on the predictive simulation capability developed under this project, these studies will illustrate the importance of considering biomechanical factors when planning clinical interventions that address musculoskeletal injury and diseases. The high school outreach effort will involve a two tier approach that each year will (a) start by organizing seminars that popularize computational science, and (b) follow up by a one week residential summer program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The program, ?Promoting the Computational Science Initiative? (ProCSI), is aimed at under-represented high-school students.

The intellectual merit of this study stems from combining advanced computational science, biomechanical modeling and statistical analysis techniques to establish a new computational framework for simulating musculoskeletal function. Broader impact will be achieved by promoting the use of biomechanical modeling to scientifically evaluate the clinical treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, and also by providing under-represented students an opportunity to use computational tools to address meaningful medical problems.


Kwon T, Schroeder M, Dhaher Y. "A Finite Element Simulation of
Anterior Cruciate Ligament
Reconstruction with a Patella
Tendon Graft", 09/01/2011-08/31/2012, , The 35th Annual meeting of the
American Society of Biomechanics 2011, "The 35th Annual meeting of the
American Society of Biomechanics".

Schroeder M, Kwon T, Dhaher Y. "Spatiotemporal Contact
Properties of the Tibiofemoral
Joint Following ACL-
Reconstruction", 09/01/2011-08/31/2012, , The 35th Annual meeting of the
American Society of Biomechanics 2011, "The 35th Annual meeting of the
American Society of Biomechanics".


Please report errors in award information by writing to: awardsearch@nsf.gov.



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