The purpose of this study was to design and test a magnetic resonance (MR)-compatible device to induce either shortening or lengthening muscle contractions for use during dynamic MR imaging. The proposed device guides the knee through cyclic flexion-extension, while either elastic or inertial loads are imposed on the hamstrings. Ten subjects were tested in a motion capture laboratory to evaluate the repeatability of limb motion and imposed loads. Image data were subsequently obtained for all ten subjects using cine phase contrast imaging. Subjects achieved of knee joint motion, with individual subjects remaining within of their average motion across 56 repeated cycles. The maximum hamstring activity and loading occurred when the knee was flexed for the elastic loading condition (shortening contraction), and extended for the inertial loading condition (lengthening contraction). Repeat MR image acquisitions of the same loading condition resulted in similar tissue velocities, while spatial variations in velocity data were clearly different between loading conditions. The proposed device can enable dynamic imaging of the muscle under different types of loads, which has the potential to improve our understanding of basic muscle mechanics, identify potential causes of muscle injury, and provide a basis for quantitatively assessing injury effects at the tissue level. Slight modifications to the device design and/or subject positioning could allow for imaging of the quadriceps or the knee.
A Magnetic Resonance-Compatible Loading Device for Dynamically Imaging Shortening and Lengthening Muscle Contraction Mechanics
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Silder, A., Westphal, C. J., and Thelen, D. G. (September 3, 2009). "A Magnetic Resonance-Compatible Loading Device for Dynamically Imaging Shortening and Lengthening Muscle Contraction Mechanics." ASME. J. Med. Devices. September 2009; 3(3): 034504. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3212559
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