MSE Research Project Database

A computational model for the evaluation of shoulder muscle and joint-contact loading in vivo

Project Leader: David Ackland
Collaborators: Thor Besier (University of Auckland)
Primary Contact: David Ackland (
Keywords: arthritis; biomechanics; magnetic resonance imaging MRI; musculoskeletal modelling; physiotherapy
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences

Our shoulders are essential for performing tasks of daily living. Osteoarthritis, which is a designated National Health Priority, is the leading cause of musculoskeletal pain and disability in our community and frequently affects both shoulder mobility and stability. The aim of this project will be to develop patient-specific musculoskeletal models to non-invasively characterise shoulder muscle and joint contact loading in human subjects. This will involve using Magnetic Resonance images (MRI), electromyography (EMG), optical motion capture and bi-plane fluoroscopic motion data, to perform simulations of shoulder motion in the OpenSim environment. The focus of this project will be in quantifying subject-specific muscle force patterns and joint loading during activities of daily living. The computational tools developed will ultimately provide a mechanism for linking shoulder joint mechanics (joint motion and joint contact behaviour) to musculoskeletal disease onset and progression. This project is in collaboration with Auckland University, New Zealand, and will involve an exciting training program at Auckland Bioengineering Institute.

Musculoskeletal shoulder model