2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Quantification of Shear Force Vectors in the Knee Through Motion Capture and Force Plate Analysis

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Tyler Brown


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by degeneration, i.e., “wear and tear” of the joint’s articular cartilage. Multi-directional motion, i.e., cross-shear, between articulating surfaces is reported to accelerate material wear, and cross-shear between the tibia and femur may produce the articular cartilage wear that leads to OA. Because we currently lack a method to quantify in-vivo cross-shear of the tibiofemoral joint, this study aimed to develop such ability and quantify tibiofemoral cross-shear for adults during an over-ground walk task. Healthy adult males and females had knee biomechanics recorded while performing an over-ground walk task (1.3 m/s). Then, the relative position of the tibia concerning the femur was quantified, and position values were used to calculate the velocity vector angle at each instance of stance. The maximum velocity vector angle will be submitted to a paired t-test to determine differences between adults. Calculating the relative motion between the tibia and femur during a walking task seems like a feasible, novel approach to understanding knee biomechanics. It would provide insight into the direction of shear forces on the knee. This measure could quantify the mechanical stressors contributing to articular cartilage degeneration that leads to OA and may inform targeted interventions to mitigate joint deterioration and OA development.

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