Coupled Biomechanical Modeling of the Face, Jaw, Skull, Tongue, and Hyoid Bone

  • Ian StavnessEmail author
  • Mohammad Ali Nazari
  • Cormac Flynn
  • Pascal Perrier
  • Yohan Payan
  • John E. Lloyd
  • Sidney Fels


The tissue scale is an important spatial scale for modeling the human body. Tissue-scale biomechanical simulations can be used to estimate the internal muscle stresses and bone strains during human movement, as well as the distribution of force in muscles with complex internal architecture and broad insertion areas. Tissue-scale simulations are of particular interest for muscle structures where the changes in the shape of the structure are functionally important, such as the face, tongue, and vocal tract. Biomechanical modeling of these structures has potential to improve our understanding of orofacial physiology in respiration, mastication, deglutition, and speech production. Biomechanical simulations of the face and vocal tract pose a challenging engineering problem due to the tight coupling of tissue dynamics between numerous structures: the face, lips, jaw, skull, tongue, hyoid bone, soft palate, pharynx, and larynx. In this chapter, we describe our efforts to develop novel tissue-scale modeling and simulation techniques targeted to orofacial anatomy. We will also review our efforts to apply such simulations to reveal the biomechanics underlying orofacial movements.


Finite-element method Musculoskeletal modeling Speech production Orofacial modeling Lips Orbicularis oris 



We gratefully thank Pierre Badin at Gipsa-Lab Grenoble for providing the CT data used for subject specific morphology. We also thank Poul Nielson and collaborators at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute for their assistance with the subject-specific material properties experiments. We also thank ANSYS for making licenses available. Funding for this work has been provided by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Stavness
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohammad Ali Nazari
    • 2
  • Cormac Flynn
    • 3
  • Pascal Perrier
    • 4
  • Yohan Payan
    • 5
  • John E. Lloyd
    • 6
  • Sidney Fels
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  3. 3.School of EngineeringScience and Primary IndustriesWintecNew Zealand
  4. 4.Speech & Cognition Department, Gipsa-lab, UMR CNRS 5216Grenoble INP & Grenoble UniversityGrenobleFrance
  5. 5.TIMC-IMAG Laboratory, CNRS UMR 5525University Joseph FourierLa TroncheFrance
  6. 6.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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