Subject-Specific Finite Element Modelling of the Human Hand Complex: Muscle-Driven Simulations and Experimental Validation

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Abstract

This paper aims to develop and validate a subject-specific framework for modelling the human hand. This was achieved by combining medical image-based finite element modelling, individualized muscle force and kinematic measurements. Firstly, a subject-specific human hand finite element (FE) model was developed. The geometries of the phalanges, carpal bones, wrist bones, ligaments, tendons, subcutaneous tissue and skin were all included. The material properties were derived from in-vivo and in-vitro experiment results available in the literature. The boundary and loading conditions were defined based on the kinematic data and muscle forces of a specific subject captured from the in-vivo grasping tests. The predicted contact pressure and contact area were in good agreement with the in-vivo test results of the same subject, with the relative errors for the contact pressures all being below 20%. Finally, sensitivity analysis was performed to investigate the effects of important modelling parameters on the predictions. The results showed that contact pressure and area were sensitive to the material properties and muscle forces. This FE human hand model can be used to make a detailed and quantitative evaluation into biomechanical and neurophysiological aspects of human hand contact during daily perception and manipulation. The findings can be applied to the design of the bionic hands or neuro-prosthetics in the future.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181–1195
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Volume48
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2019

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