Objective: Human body finite element models (FE-HBMs) are available in standard occupant or pedestrian postures. There is a need to have FE-HBMs in the same posture as a crash victim or to be configured in varying postures. Developing FE models for all possible positions is not practically viable. The current work aims at obtaining a posture-specific human lower extremity model by reconfiguring an existing one.
Methodology: A graphics-based technique was developed to reposition the lower extremity of an FE-HBM by specifying the flexion–extension angle. Elements of the model were segregated into rigid (bones) and deformable components (soft tissues). The bones were rotated about the flexion–extension axis followed by rotation about the longitudinal axis to capture the twisting of the tibia. The desired knee joint movement was thus achieved. Geometric heuristics were then used to reposition the skin. A mapping defined over the space between bones and the skin was used to regenerate the soft tissues. Mesh smoothing was then done to augment mesh quality.
Results: The developed method permits control over the kinematics of the joint and maintains the initial mesh quality of the model. For some critical areas (in the joint vicinity) where element distortion is large, mesh smoothing is done to improve mesh quality.
Conclusions: A method to reposition the knee joint of a human body FE model was developed. Repositions of a model from 9 degrees of flexion to 90 degrees of flexion in just a few seconds without subjective interventions was demonstrated. Because the mesh quality of the repositioned model was maintained to a predefined level (typically to the level of a well-made model in the initial configuration), the model was suitable for subsequent simulations.
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