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Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 2356–2371 | Cite as

In Vivo Measurement of Plantar Tissue Characteristics and Its Indication for Foot Modeling

  • Fuhao Mo
  • Junjie Li
  • Zurong YangEmail author
  • Shuangyuan Zhou
  • Michel Behr
Original Article
  • 179 Downloads

Abstract

Plantar heel pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders and generally causing long term discomfort of the patients. The objective of the present study is to combine in vivo experimental measurements and finite element modelling of the foot to investigate the influences of stiffness and thickness variation of individual plantar tissues especially the heel pad on deformation behaviours of the human foot. The stiffness and thickness variance of individuals were measured through supersonic shear wave elastography considering detailed heel pad layers refered to in literature as: dermis, stiffer micro-chamber layer, softer macro-chamber layer. A corresponding foot model with separated heel pad layers was established and used to a sensitivity analysis related to the variance of above-mentioned tissue characteristics. The experimental results show that the average stiffness of the micro-chamber layer ranged from 24.7 (SD 2.4) kPa to 18.8 (SD 3.5) kPa with the age group increasing from 20–29 years old to 60–69 years old, while the average macro-chamber stiffness is 10.6 (SD 1.5) kPa that appears to slightly decrease with the increasing age. Both plantar soft tissue stiffness and thickness of male were generally larger than that of female. The numerical simulation results show that the variance of heel pad strain level can reach 27.5% due to the effects of stiffness and thickness change of the plantar tissues. Their influences on the calcaneus stress and plantar pressure were also significant. This indicates that the most appreciate way to establish a personalized foot model needs to consider the difference of both individual foot anatomic geometry and plantar soft tissue material properties.

Keywords

Biomechanics Foot Heel pad Ultrasound Elastography Finite element modeling 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51875187, 51621004), and Hunan Province Science and Technology Plan (Grant No. 2019JJ40021).

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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacture for Vehicle BodyHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Department of Ultrasound, The Second Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  3. 3.Aix-Marseille University, IFSTTAR, LBA UMRT24MarseilleFrance
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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