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A Multi-Body Dynamic Biomechanical Model Of A Seated Human Exposed To Vertical Whole-Body Vibration - Introduction; Proceedings Of The First American Conference On Human Vibration
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  • Description:
    Ethical concerns of in-vivo procedures and poor repeatability of non-invasive techniques have been major limitations in estimating vibration-induced spine loads through experiments. The biodynamic models of seated human body exposed to whole-body vibration (WBV) have evolved for defining the frequency-weightings, enhancement of human responses to WBV, and developing anthropodynamic manikins for seating assessment activities. The widely reported mechanical-equivalent models, solely based on through- or to-the-body biodynamic response functions, do not seem to resemble the biomechanical structure and do not yield information on the dynamic loading and deflections of segments of concern, namely the spine. On the other hand, biomechanical models with representative anatomical structure and anthropometry are being attempted to simulate segmental movements and the coupling effects, using Finite elements (FE) or multi-body dynamics (MBD) formalisms, which could provide important insights into the inter-vertebral forces [1]. While the FE models pose considerable complexities primarily related to characteristics of the bio-material properties, the MBD technique with discrete rigid bodies offers the flexibility to create multi-segment models with relative ease and lower computational cost. In this study, a preliminary multibody dynamic model of a seated human body exposed to WBV along the vertical direction is formulated using MSC/ADAMS software. The model validity is demonstrated by comparing selected responses with the available measured data. Methods The seated human is represented by nine rigid body segments, including: head, neck, thoracic and lumbar torso, pelvis, hands and thighs, as shown in Fig. 1. The rigid bodies are coupled through different rotational and translational joints, some of which are force elements to allow vertical translations and sagittal-plane rotations of the segments. The measurements of transmission of vertical vibration through-the-body generally require subjects to voluntarily maintain a vertical head position to reduce head-accelerometer orientation errors. The head-neck-shoulder joint is thus considered to be rigid. The shoulders are assumed to be rigidly attached to the thoracic segment. The torso is made up of three (upper, middle and lower) segments connected by visco-elastic revolute and translational joints to permit relative pitch and vertical motions. The forces and torques generated by the joints are derived assuming linear stiffness and damping properties, which were identified from published studies. The pelvis is connected to the rigid seat by similar elements representing the visco-elastic properties of the buttock tissues. The two thighs are rigidly connected to the pelvis, while the segment masses are chosen from the anthropometric data for the 50th percentile male subject. The initial model parameters for the joints were obtained from [2]. The model was analyzed to determine the force-motion relationship at the buttock-seat interface expressed in terms of

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