Biological variability in biomechanical engineering research

Significance and meta-analysis of current modeling practices

Douglas Cook, Margaret Julias, Eric Nauman

    Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

    Abstract

    Biological systems are characterized by high levels of variability, which can affect the results of biomechanical analyses. As a review of this topic, we first surveyed levels of variation in materials relevant to biomechanics, and compared these values to standard engineered materials. As expected, we found significantly higher levels of variation in biological materials. A meta-analysis was then performed based on thorough reviews of 60 research studies from the field of biomechanics to assess the methods and manner in which biological variation is currently handled in our field. The results of our meta-analysis revealed interesting trends in modeling practices, and suggest a need for more biomechanical studies that fully incorporate biological variation in biomechanical models and analyses. Finally, we provide some case study example of how biological variability may provide valuable insights or lead to surprising results. The purpose of this study is to promote the advancement of biomechanics research by encouraging broader treatment of biological variability in biomechanical modeling.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1241-1250
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Biomechanics
    Volume47
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 11 2014

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    Biomechanics
    Engineering research
    Biomechanical Phenomena
    Meta-Analysis
    Research
    Biological systems
    Biological materials

    Keywords

    • Biological variation
    • Modeling
    • Sensitivity analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Rehabilitation
    • Biophysics
    • Biomedical Engineering

    Cite this

    Biological variability in biomechanical engineering research : Significance and meta-analysis of current modeling practices. / Cook, Douglas; Julias, Margaret; Nauman, Eric.

    In: Journal of Biomechanics, Vol. 47, No. 6, 11.04.2014, p. 1241-1250.

    Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

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