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Editorial

J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):070201-070201-1. doi:10.1115/1.4043288.
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The Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (JBME) continues to thrive, and our impact factor held strong at 1.916 in 2018. Over 550 manuscripts were received in 2018, and our acceptance rate projects to be about 28%, though the final number will depend on the outcome of manuscripts currently under review. We continue to streamline all stages of the review and publication process, with time to first decision now averaging 1.7 months and immediate on-line availability of accepted manuscripts. The tremendous effort of the Associate Editors (AEs) on this front, and on all aspects of the journal operation, is acknowledged here with our profound thanks—JBME would not succeed without them! We especially thank retiring AEs Carlijn Bouten, Tammy Haut Donahue, James Iatridis, Ram Devireddy, Barclay Morrison, Jeff Ruberti, and Brian Stemper, and we welcome new AEs Kyle Allen, Anton Bowden, Tamara Bush, Brittany Coats, Eric Kennedy, Spencer Lake, Christian Puttlitz, Sara Wilson, and Katherine Zhang.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):070202-070202-3. doi:10.1115/1.4043069.
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Steven Abramowitch

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):070203-070203-1. doi:10.1115/1.4043072.
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As part of the Annual Special Issue, the JBME Associate Editors selected the top papers published in the journal during 2018. Those Editors' Choice papers, listed below in chronological order, exemplified both the high quality and the breadth of papers published in the journal. Congratulations to these authors and to all authors whose work appeared in JBME over the past year!

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):070204-070204-2. doi:10.1115/1.4043070.
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Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):070205-070205-3. doi:10.1115/1.4042897.
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The Journal of Biomechanical Engineering has contributed to biomechanical engineering field since 1977. To honor papers published at least 30 years that have had a long-lasting impact on the field, the Editors now recognize “Legacy Papers.” The journal is pleased to present the following paper as this year's Legacy Paper:

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Review Article

J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):070801-070801-10. doi:10.1115/1.4042170.

Walking can be exceedingly complex to analyze due to highly nonlinear multibody dynamics, nonlinear relationships between muscle excitations and resulting muscle forces, dynamic coupling that allows muscles to accelerate joints and segments they do not span, and redundant muscle control. Walking requires the successful execution of a number of biomechanical functions such as providing body support, forward propulsion, and balance control, with specific muscle groups contributing to their execution. Thus, muscle injury or neurological impairment that affects muscle output can alter the successful execution of these functions and impair walking performance. The loss of balance control in particular can result in falls and subsequent injuries that lead to the loss of mobility and functional independence. Thus, it is important to assess the mechanisms used to control balance in clinical populations using reliable methods with the ultimate goal of improving rehabilitation outcomes. In this review, we highlight common clinical and laboratory-based measures used to assess balance control and their potential limitations, show how these measures have been used to analyze balance in several clinical populations, and consider the translation of specific laboratory-based measures from the research laboratory to the clinic.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):070802-070802-16. doi:10.1115/1.4042201.

Fibrocartilage is found in the knee meniscus, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disk, the pubic symphysis, the annulus fibrosus of intervertebral disk, tendons, and ligaments. These tissues are notoriously difficult to repair due to their avascularity, and limited clinical repair and replacement options exist. Tissue engineering has been proposed as a route to repair and replace fibrocartilages. Using the knee meniscus and TMJ disk as examples, this review describes how fibrocartilages can be engineered toward translation to clinical use. Presented are fibrocartilage anatomy, function, epidemiology, pathology, and current clinical treatments because they inform design criteria for tissue engineered fibrocartilages. Methods for how native tissues are characterized histomorphologically, biochemically, and mechanically to set gold standards are described. Then provided is a review of fibrocartilage-specific tissue engineering strategies, including the selection of cell sources, scaffold or scaffold-free methods, and biochemical and mechanical stimuli. In closing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paradigm is discussed to inform researchers of both the guidance that exists and the questions that remain to be answered with regard to bringing a tissue engineered fibrocartilage product to the clinic.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):070803-070803-29. doi:10.1115/1.4043140.

Standards for sports headgear were introduced as far back as the 1960s and many have remained substantially unchanged to present day. Since this time, headgear has virtually eliminated catastrophic head injuries such as skull fractures and changed the landscape of head injuries in sports. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is now a prevalent concern and the effectiveness of headgear in mitigating mTBI is inconclusive for most sports. Given that most current headgear standards are confined to attenuating linear head mechanics and recent brain injury studies have underscored the importance of angular mechanics in the genesis of mTBI, new or expanded standards are needed to foster headgear development and assess headgear performance that addresses all types of sport-related head and brain injuries. The aim of this review was to provide a basis for developing new sports headgear impact tests for standards by summarizing and critiquing the following: (1) impact testing procedures currently codified in published headgear standards for sports and (2) new or proposed headgear impact test procedures in published literature and/or relevant conferences. Research areas identified as needing further knowledge to support standards test development include defining sports-specific head impact conditions, establishing injury and age appropriate headgear assessment criteria, and the development of headgear specific head and neck surrogates for at-risk populations.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers

J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):071001-071001-8. doi:10.1115/1.4043433.

Post-traumatic joint contracture (PTJC) is a debilitating condition, particularly in the elbow. Previously, we established an animal model of elbow PTJC quantifying passive postmortem joint mechanics and histological changes temporally. These results showed persistent motion loss similar to what is experienced in humans. Functional assessment of PTJC in our model was not previously considered; however, these measures would provide a clinically relevant measure and would further validate our model by demonstrating persistently altered joint function. To this end, a custom bilateral grip strength device was developed, and a recently established open-source gait analysis system was used to quantify forelimb function in our unilateral injury model. In vivo joint function was shown to be altered long-term and never fully recover. Specifically, forelimb strength in the injured limbs showed persistent deficits at all time points; additionally, gait patterns remained imbalanced and asymmetric throughout the study (although a few gait parameters did return to near normal levels). A quantitative understanding of these longitudinal, functional disabilities further strengthens the clinical relevance of our rat PTJC model enabling assessment of the effectiveness of future interventions aimed at reducing or preventing PTJC.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Expert View

J Biomech Eng. 2019;141(7):074701-074701-6. doi:10.1115/1.4043432.

This paper is an invited perspective written in association with the awarding of the 2018 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Van C. Mow Medal. Inspired by Professor Mow's collaboration with Professor Michael Lai and the role mathematical modeling played in their work on cartilage biomechanics, this article uses our group's work on myocardial infarct healing as an example of the potential value of models in modern experimental biomechanics. Focusing more on the thought process and lessons learned from our studies on infarct mechanics than on the details of the science, this article argues that the complexity of current research questions and the wealth of information already available about almost any cell, tissue, or organ should change how we approach problems and design experiments. In particular, this paper proposes that constructing a mathematical or computational model is now in many cases a critical prerequisite to designing scientifically useful, informative experiments.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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