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Model-based estimation of knee stiffness


Pfeifer, Serge; Vallery, Heike; Hardegger, Michael; Riener, Robert; Perreault, Eric J (2012). Model-based estimation of knee stiffness. IEEE Transactions on Bio-Medical Engineering, 59(9):2604-2612.

Abstract

During natural locomotion, the stiffness of the human knee is modulated continuously and subconsciously according to the demands of activity and terrain. Given modern actuator technology, powered transfemoral prostheses could theoretically provide a similar degree of sophistication and function. However, experimentally quantifying knee stiffness modulation during natural gait is challenging. Alternatively, joint stiffness could be estimated in a less disruptive manner using electromyography (EMG) combined with kinetic and kinematic measurements to estimate muscle force, together with models that relate muscle force to stiffness. Here we present the first step in that process, where we develop such an approach and evaluate it in isometric conditions, where experimental measurements are more feasible. Our EMG-guided modeling approach allows us to consider conditions with antagonistic muscle activation, a phenomenon commonly observed in physiological gait. Our validation shows that model-based estimates of knee joint stiffness coincide well with experimental data obtained using conventional perturbation techniques. We conclude that knee stiffness can be accurately estimated in isometric conditions without applying perturbations, which presents an important step toward our ultimate goal of quantifying knee stiffness during gait.

Abstract

During natural locomotion, the stiffness of the human knee is modulated continuously and subconsciously according to the demands of activity and terrain. Given modern actuator technology, powered transfemoral prostheses could theoretically provide a similar degree of sophistication and function. However, experimentally quantifying knee stiffness modulation during natural gait is challenging. Alternatively, joint stiffness could be estimated in a less disruptive manner using electromyography (EMG) combined with kinetic and kinematic measurements to estimate muscle force, together with models that relate muscle force to stiffness. Here we present the first step in that process, where we develop such an approach and evaluate it in isometric conditions, where experimental measurements are more feasible. Our EMG-guided modeling approach allows us to consider conditions with antagonistic muscle activation, a phenomenon commonly observed in physiological gait. Our validation shows that model-based estimates of knee joint stiffness coincide well with experimental data obtained using conventional perturbation techniques. We conclude that knee stiffness can be accurately estimated in isometric conditions without applying perturbations, which presents an important step toward our ultimate goal of quantifying knee stiffness during gait.

Citations

23 citations in Web of Science®
31 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:September 2012
Deposited On:19 Aug 2015 14:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:21
Publisher:Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN:0018-9294
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2012.2207895
PubMed ID:22801482

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