A Biomechanically and Anatomically Realistic Foot Model (BAREFOOT)
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Traditionally, investigators utilize human studies, cadaver studies, and finite element model studies to conduct lower limb biomechanical research. In other realms of biomechanics, a fourth alternative has been recently introduced; strides have been made recently regarding realistic physical model-based studies in place of conventional in vivo and in vitro study environments. The work presented here includes the development and validation of a biomechanically and anatomically realistic foot (BAREFOOT) 3D printed model. A realistic printed bony geometry and independently validated, elastically realistic printed soft tissue material are developed as subsystems of the BAREFOOT model. As a stepping stone to a full foot BAREFOOT model, a segmented first-ray model is developed and evaluated. Finally, a full foot BAREFOOT model is developed, printed, and evaluated on a robotic gait simulator (RGS). The RGS results show realistic joint angles and realistic center of pressure trajectory throughout stance phase. The results indicate the utility of the BAREFOOT model in future orthopedic studies and its effectiveness as a study tool.
- Mechanical engineering