Quantification of loading in biomechanical testing: The influence of dissection sequence

Martha Funabashi, Marwan El-Rich, Narasimha Prasad, Gregory N. Kawchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Sequential dissection is a technique used to investigate loads experienced by articular tissues. When the joint of interest is tested in an unconstrained manner, its kinematics change with each tissue removal. To address this limitation, sufficiently rigid robots are used to constrain joint kinematics. While this approach can quantify loads experienced by each tissue, it does not assure similar results when removal order is changed. Specifically, structure loading is assumed to be independent of removal order if the structure behaves linearly (i.e. principle of superposition applies), but dependent on removal order when response is affected by material and/or geometry nonlinearities and/or viscoelasticiy (e.g. biological tissues). Therefore, this experiment was conducted to evaluate if structure loading created through robotic testing is dependent on the order in which connectors are removed. Six identical models were 3D printed. Each model was composed of 2 rigid bodies and 3 connecting structures with nonlinear time-dependent behavior. To these models, pure rotations were applied about a predefined static center of rotation using a parallel robot. A unique dissection sequence was used for each of the six models and the same movements applied robotically after each dissection. When comparing the moments experienced by each structure between different removal sequences, a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) was observed. These results suggest that even in an optimized environment, the sequence in which nonlinear viscoelastic structures are removed influence model loading. These findings support prior work suggesting that tissue loads obtained from robotic testing are specific to removal order.

Original languageBritish English
Article number7259
Pages (from-to)3522-3526
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2015


  • Biomechanical test
  • Load-sharing
  • Principle of superposition
  • Robotics
  • Serial dissection


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