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Modeling the finger joint moments in a hand at the maximal isometric grip: the effects of friction.

Wu-JZ; Dong-RG; McDowell-TW; Welcome-DE
Med Eng Phys 2009 Dec; 31(10):1214-1218
The interaction between the handle and operator's hand affects the comfort and safety of tool and machine operations. In most of the previous studies, the investigators considered only the normal contact forces. The effect of friction on the joint moments in fingers has not been analyzed. Furthermore, the observed contact forces have not been linked to the internal musculoskeletal loading in the previous experimental studies. In the current study, we proposed a universal model of a hand to evaluate the joint moments in the fingers during grasping tasks. The hand model was developed on the platform of the commercial software package AnyBody. Only four fingers (index, long, ring, and little finger) were included in the model. The anatomical structure of each finger is comprised of four phalanges (distal, middle, proximal, and metacarpal phalange). The simulations were performed using an inverse dynamics technique. The joint angles and the normal contact forces on each finger section reported by previous researchers were used as inputs, while the joint moments of each finger were predicted. The predicted trends of the dependence of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint moments on the cylinder diameter agree with those of the contact forces on the fingers observed in the previous experimental study. Our results show that the DIP and PIP joint moments reach their maximums at a cylinder diameter of about 31 mm, which is consistent with the trend of the finger contact forces measured in the experiments. The proposed approach will be useful for simulating musculoskeletal loading in the hand for occupational activities, thereby optimizing tool-handle design.
Biodynamics; Biomechanical-engineering; Biomechanics; Engineering; Ergonomics; Hand-injuries; Hand-tools; Measurement-equipment; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Nerve-function; Neurological-system; Toolmaking; Author Keywords: Hand; Fingers; Handle; Multi-body dynamics; Inverse dynamics; Simulations
John Z. Wu, Engineering & Control Technology Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, MS L-2027, WV 26505
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Medical Engineering & Physics