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Research Papers

Mixed Experimental and Numerical Approach for Characterizing the Biomechanical Response of the Human Leg Under Elastic Compression

[+] Author and Article Information
Stéphane Avril

Center for Health Engineering, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, PECM-CNRS UMR 5146, IFRESIS-INSERM IFR 143, 158 Cours Fauriel, 42023 Saint-Étienne Cedex 2, Franceavril@emse.fr

Laura Bouten, Laura Dubuis

Center for Health Engineering, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, PECM-CNRS UMR 5146, IFRESIS-INSERM IFR 143, 158 Cours Fauriel, 42023 Saint-Étienne Cedex 2, France

Sylvain Drapier

Structures and Materials Sciences Division, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, LTDS-CNRS UMR 5513, 158 Cours Fauriel, 42023 Saint-Étienne Cedex 2, France

Jean-François Pouget

 BVsport, 104 rue Bergson, 42000 Saint-Étienne, France

J Biomech Eng 132(3), 031006 (Feb 08, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000967 History: Received April 16, 2009; Revised December 21, 2009; Posted January 11, 2010; Published February 08, 2010; Online February 08, 2010

Elastic compression is the process of applying an elastic garment around the leg, supposedly for enhancing the venous flow. However, the response of internal tissues to the external pressure is still partially unknown. In order to improve the scientific knowledge about this topic, a slice of a human leg wearing an elastic garment is modeled by the finite-element method. The elastic properties of the tissues inside the leg are identified thanks to a dedicated approach based on image processing. After calibrating the model with magnetic resonance imaging scans of a volunteer, the pressure transmitted through the internal tissues of the leg is computed. Discrepancies of more than 35% are found from one location to another, showing that the same compression garment cannot be applied for treating deficiencies of the deep venous system or deficiencies of the large superficial veins. Moreover, it is shown that the internal morphology of the human leg plays an important role. Accordingly, the approach presented in this paper may provide useful information for adapting compression garments to the specificity of each patient.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

MRI scans of the leg without (a) and with (b) elastic compression garments

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Figure 2

Mesh of the leg slice in the FE model

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Figure 3

Set-up used to characterize the elastic behavior of compression garments

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Figure 4

Graphical display of the mismatch between the target image and examples of registration (a) with [C10f,C10m,Kvf,Kvm]=[3.3 kPa,11.5 kPa,89.6 kPa,71.9 kPa] and (b) with [C10f,C10m,Kvf,Kvm]=[12 kPa,11.5 kPa,89.6 kPa,71.9 kPa]. C10f and Kvf are the material constants of fat C10m and Kvm are the material constants of the muscle tissue. C10 is the constant corresponding to the contribution of the strain first invariant in the neo-Hookean strain energy function and Kv is the constant corresponding to the contribution of compressibility in the neo-Hookean strain energy function.

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Figure 5

Hydrostatic pressure computed inside the leg with the central values of elastic properties reported in Table 2

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Figure 6

3D FE model, (a) mesh and boundary conditions, and (b) displacement field in the sagital plane

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