Topics: Prosthesis, Artificial limb, Amputation Pages: 2 (629 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The term biomechanics means the study of the structure and function of biological systems using the methods of mechanics. Biomechanics studies the process of kinematics and develops artificial limbs and footwear specifically to aid the body in performance. The study of biomechanics also includes the stress testing on crash dummies in car accidents and any sport where stress is placed on the body in order to produce performance. The type of stress specifically is the joint stimulation and bone modeling stress. The most common use of biomechanics is in the development of prosthetic limbs used for the handicapped. Most work on prosthetics is done in laboratories where scientists use calibrated machines to test stress and wear of artificial limbs. These days, prosthetics, are made of titanium and lightweight fiberglass to make a near perfect match with most people. The most common prosthesis is the replacement in a below the knee amputation. The American Society of Biomechanics (ASB) held a meeting at Clemson University of 1997 in order to develop a sports prosthesis that would stand up to every day flexing of the knee for performance in sports. In order to develop this prosthesis they had to go through two main phases, the analysis of a jogger wearing a standard walking prosthesis and computer simulation of the flexing of the knee on this walking prosthesis. They had to measure rotation, weight bearing, moments, and the stress of the joints acting on this limb. After the mechanical actions were mapped out they had to use many mathematical equations to spring force and spring stiffness. All of this was accomplished and the conclusion was that by varying the placement and orientation of the spring, the moment arm values could be adjusted in an attempt to linearize the spring stiffness. Biomechanics is also used in the study of sports actions, such as the motion of throwing a baseball. This process involves three major steps. First, an engineer must take...
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