A Novel Methodology for the Simulation of Athletic Tasks on Cadaveric Knee Joints with Respect to In Vivo Kinematics

Nathaniel A. Bates, Rebecca J. Nesbitt, Jason T. Shearn, Gregory D. Myer, Timothy E. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Six degree of freedom (6-DOF) robotic manipulators have simulated clinical tests and gait on cadaveric knees to examine knee biomechanics. However, these activities do not necessarily emulate the kinematics and kinetics that lead to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture. The purpose of this study was to determine the techniques needed to derive reproducible, in vitro simulations from in vivo skin-marker kinematics recorded during simulated athletic tasks. Input of raw, in vivo, skin-marker-derived motion capture kinematics consistently resulted in specimen failure. The protocol described in this study developed an in-depth methodology to adapt in vivo kinematic recordings into 6-DOF knee motion simulations for drop vertical jumps and sidestep cutting. Our simulation method repeatably produced kinetics consistent with vertical ground reaction patterns while preserving specimen integrity. Athletic task simulation represents an advancement that allows investigators to examine ACL-intact and graft biomechanics during motions that generate greater kinetics, and the athletic tasks are more representative of documented cases of ligament rupture. Establishment of baseline functional mechanics within the knee joint during athletic tasks will serve to advance the prevention, repair and rehabilitation of ACL injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2456-2466
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 22 2015


  • ACL injury
  • Athletic task performance
  • Joint simulation
  • Knee biomechanics
  • Robotic manipulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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