Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Richard D. Komistek

Committee Members

William R. Hamel, Mohammed R. Mahfouz, Harry L. Martin, Adrija Sharma


The human knee from a mechanical perspective is arguably one of the more complex of the joints of the human body and for this very reason there are a number of pathological factors that can adversely affect knee function, leading to pain, stiffness and an overall reduced quality of life. To rectify these disease conditions, a variety of intervention techniques exist, all of which are predicated on a thorough understanding of the forces and motions that occur at the knee.Various techniques have been developed to further the understanding of how the knee functions; however, many of these strategies involve time and cost consuming processes in order to assess functionality of the knee. Mathematical modeling is a methodology that uses mathematical equations of motion to solve for forces, or in the case of forward modeling, motions given a known set of forces. Such a model is capable of replicating the functionality of the knee in vivo.One application of such a model is in the context of total knee arthroplasty design. Intended for the restoration of functionality after late stage osteoarthritis, total knee arthroplasty devices are highly dependent on their associated design features and the use of a theoretical model affords the opportunity to test the performance of a device without ever needing to manufacture or implant it.In addition, there are also surgical applications where a mathematical model can test joints that otherwise cannot be evaluated under conventional means. This includes modeling of the healthy knee, as well as various functionality-limiting pathological conditions. Perhaps more importantly is the ability to evaluate different intervention techniques to determine the effectiveness in doing so identify which technique most effectively resolves the pathological issues.Advances to the model have focused on parameterization while contributing to a validated normal knee model, an enhancement on the efficiency of the muscles that drive flexion, facilitated methods to evaluate articular geometries and enhancements providing more realistic physiological motions. The model has also been enhanced to account for demographics, as well as abnormal pathology with additional parameters added to better understand gait mechanics at the knee.

Orcid ID

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