Approximating complex musculoskeletal biomechanics using multidimensional autogenerating polynomials

by Anton Sobinov, Matthew T. Boots, Valeriya Gritsenko, Lee E. Fisher, Robert A. Gaunt, Sergiy Yakovenko

Computational models of the musculoskeletal system are scientific tools used to study human movement, quantify the effects of injury and disease, plan surgical interventions, or control realistic high-dimensional articulated prosthetic limbs. If the models are sufficiently accurate, they may embed complex relationships within the sensorimotor system. These potential benefits are limited by the challenge of implementing fast and accurate musculoskeletal computations. A typical hand muscle spans over 3 degrees of freedom (DOF), wrapping over complex geometrical constraints that change its moment arms and lead to complex posture-dependent variation in torque generation. Here, we report a method to accurately and efficiently calculate musculotendon length and moment arms across all physiological postures of the forearm muscles that actuate the hand and wrist. Then, we use this model to test the hypothesis that the functional similarities of muscle actions are embedded in muscle structure. The posture dependent muscle geometry, moment arms and lengths of modeled muscles were captured using autogenerating polynomials that expanded their optimal selection of terms using information measurements. The iterative process approximated 33 musculotendon actuators, each spanning up to 6 DOFs in an 18 DOF model of the human arm and hand, defined over the full physiological range of motion. Using these polynomials, the entire forearm anatomy could be computed in

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