Research Papers

A Novel Device to Apply Controlled Flexion and Extension to the Rat Knee Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

[+] Author and Article Information
Mark E. Stasiak1

 Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY 10021;stasiakm@hss.eduDepartment of Biomedical Engineering,  The City College of New York, New York, NY 10031stasiakm@hss.edu

Dan Wiznia, Saif Alzoobaee

 Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065

Michael C. Ciccotti

 Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Carl W. Imhauser, Clifford Voigt, Xiang-Hua Deng, Scott A. Rodeo

 Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY 10021

Peter A. Torzilli

 Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY 10021;Department of Biomedical Engineering,  The City College of New York, New York, NY 10031


Corresponding author.

J Biomech Eng 134(4), 041008 (Apr 27, 2012) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006341 History: Received January 20, 2012; Revised February 16, 2012; Posted March 14, 2012; Published April 27, 2012; Online April 27, 2012

We designed and validated a novel device for applying flexion-extension cycles to a rat knee in an in vivo model of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R). Our device is intended to simulate rehabilitation motion and exercise post ACL-R to optimize physical rehabilitation treatments for the improved healing of tendon graft ligament reconstructions. The device was validated for repeatability of the knee kinematic motion by measuring the force versus angular rotation response from repeated trials using cadaver rats. The average maximum force required for rotating an ACL reconstructed rat knee through 100 degrees of flexion-extension was 0.4 N with 95% variability for all trials within ±0.1 N.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Rat lower leg strapped into the tibial tray with femoral k-wire held by bilateral clamps

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Figure 2

CAD model of the flexion device showing individual components

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Figure 3

Photo of the rat in the device during ACL reconstruction with the turnbuckle pretensioning the graft tendon in series with the load cell

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Figure 4

The baseline device stiffness data (the mean of five cycles of flexion without a rat mounted) are shown as open circles in the horizontal force versus flexion angle plot above. The uncorrected data from load cell one after five trials of removal and replacement of rat A are indicated by the dashed-dotted line above. The line represented by the “X”s above is the same data after subtraction of the device stiffness (the open circles) and placed between the 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines).

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Figure 5

Load versus angular displacement using the second load cell connected directly in series with the proximal end of the tendon graft with a steel suture. These data reflect the actual tensile force through the graft tendon in the cadaver ACL-R.

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Figure 6

Representative daily load versus flexion angle data from the first rat of the pilot study. The machine stiffness has been subtracted.



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