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Technical Brief

Analysis of the Constraint Joint Loading in the Thumb During Pipetting

[+] Author and Article Information
John Z. Wu

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
1095 Willowdale Road,
MS-2027, Morgantown, WV 26505
e-mail: jwu@cdc.gov

Erik W. Sinsel

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
1095 Willowdale Road,
MS-2027, Morgantown, WV 26505

Kristin D. Zhao, Kai-Nan An

Biomechanics Laboratory,
Division of Orthopedic Research,
Mayo Clinic,
Rochester, MN 55905

Frank L. Buczek

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM),
Erie, PA 16509

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received January 2, 2015; final manuscript received March 24, 2015; published online June 9, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Zong-Ming Li.This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

J Biomech Eng 137(8), 084501 (Aug 01, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: BIO-15-1001; doi: 10.1115/1.4030311 History: Received January 02, 2015; Revised March 24, 2015; Online June 09, 2015

Dynamic loading on articular joints is essential for the evaluation of the risk of the articulation degeneration associated with occupational activities. In the current study, we analyzed the dynamic constraint loading for the thumb during pipetting. The constraint loading is considered as the loading that has to be carried by the connective tissues of the joints (i.e., the cartilage layer and the ligaments) to maintain the kinematic constraints of the system. The joint loadings are solved using a classic free-body approach, using the external loading and muscle forces, which were obtained in an inverse dynamic approach combined with an optimization procedure in anybody. The constraint forces in the thumb joint obtained in the current study are compared with those obtained in the pinch and grasp tests in a previous study (Cooney and Chao, 1977, “Biomechanical Analysis of Static Forces in the Thumb During Hand Function,” J. Bone Joint Surg. Am., 59(1), pp. 27–36). The maximal compression force during pipetting is approximately 83% and 60% greater than those obtained in the tip pinch and key pinch, respectively, while substantially smaller than that obtained during grasping. The maximal lateral shear force is approximately six times, 32 times, and 90% greater than those obtained in the tip pinch, key pinch, and grasp, respectively. The maximal dorsal shear force during pipetting is approximately 3.2 and 1.4 times greater than those obtained in the tip pinch and key pinch, respectively, while substantially smaller than that obtained during grasping. Our analysis indicated that the thumb joints are subjected to repetitive, intensive loading during pipetting, compared to other daily activities.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup and modeling of pipetting. (a) A subject operating the pipette during the testing. (b) Model of the entire hand with thumb, containing detailed muscle–tendon connections.

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Fig. 2

Determination of the constraint forces (Rx, Ry, and Rz) and moments (Mx and My) in the IP joint

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Fig. 3

Determination of the constraint forces (Rx, Ry, and Rz) and moment (Mx) in the MP joint

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Fig. 4

Determination of the constraint forces (Rx, Ry, and Rz) in the CMC joint

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Fig. 5

Histories of the push force and button displacement during the extraction and dispensing cycles. (a) The push force as a function of pipetting cycle. (b) The button displacement as a function of pipetting cycle. The solid lines represent the mean values of all eight subjects' data and the dotted lines are the standard deviations.

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Fig. 6

Variations in the CMC joint constraint forces during the extraction and dispensing cycles. The left and right columns of the plots show the forces in the extraction and dispensing phases, respectively. The mean values are shown in solid lines, whereas the standard deviations of the data are shown in dotted lines.

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Fig. 7

Variations in the MP joint constraint forces during the extraction and dispensing cycles. The left and right columns of the plots show the forces in the extraction and dispensing phases, respectively. The mean values are shown in solid lines, whereas the standard deviations of the data are shown in dotted lines.

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Fig. 8

Variations in the IP joint constraint forces during the extraction and dispensing cycles. The left and right columns of the plots show the forces in the extraction and dispensing phases, respectively. The mean values are shown in solid lines, whereas the standard deviations of the data are shown in dotted lines.

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Fig. 9

Variations in the resultant constraint forces in the CMC, MP, and IP joints during the extraction and dispensing cycles

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Fig. 10

Variations in the constraint moments in the IP and MP joints during the extraction and dispensing cycles

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