Ergonomics And
Injury Biomechanics

Humans constantly interact with their surroundings, whether it is driving a car, sitting at a computer, or carrying a backpack full of books to school.  Computer modeling and simulation can help improve the design of workplaces, equipment, and automobiles to ensure that these interactions are safe and productive.

Turning Heads: Using biomechanical models to understand the mechanism of whiplash injury.

NeckModelWhiplash injuries are a frequent and sometimes painful consequence of automobile accidents, but the location and mechanism of these injuries are poorly understood.

The effects of neck muscles during a rear-end impact are difficult to study with human subjects and cadavers, and a biomechanical neck model can complement experimental studies by estimating parameters such as tissue strains and strain rates that cannot be measured in vivo. Furthermore, women have a disproportionately higher incidence of whiplash injury and chronic neck pain compared to men.

Anita Vasavada and her research team at Washington State University, along with researchers at MEA Forensic Engineers & Scientists, are using musculoskeletal models of the head and neck, combined with magnetic resonance images and volunteer sled experiments to calculate the strains that neck muscles experience in rear-end car crashes.

In addition, the team has discovered that men and women have differently scaled neck muscular and skeletal geometry. In other words, the female neck is not simply a scaled version of the male neck. Consequently, Vasavada and colleagues are developing female-specific head and neck models to study gender differences in neck musculoskeletal disorders.

Find out more about Vasavada’s model at her SimTK project site:

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Head and Neck Musculoskeletal Biomechanics

Anita Vasavada
Washington State University

Grand challenge to predict in vivo knee loads

BJ Fregly
University of Florida

Upper Extremity Model

Katherine Holzbaur
Wake Forest University
Wendy Murray
Northwestern University

A Lower Extremity Model for Human Movement Analysis

Edith Arnold
Stanford University

A Lower Extremity Model for Human Movement Analysis

Edith Arnold
Stanford University

A Musculoskeletal Model of the Lumbar Spine

Nur Adila Faruk Senan
University of California, Berkeley

Simulations of Walking at Multiple Speeds

May Liu
Stanford University