June 23, 2021 /

New publication online: Intuitive assessment of modeled lumbar spinal motion by clustering and visualization of finite helical axes

A recently accepted manuscript "Intuitive assessment of modeled lumbar spinal motion by clustering and visualization of finite helical axes" has now been published. Robert Rockenfeller, Maria Hammer, Julia M. Riede, Syn Schmitt, Kai Lawonn. (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2021.104528). This is a joint work with U Koblenz and U Jena.

A variety of medical imaging procedures, cadaver experiments, and computer models have been utilized to capture, depict, and understand the motion of the human lumbar spine. Particular interest lies in assessing the relative movement between two adjacent vertebrae, which can be represented by a temporal evolution of finite helical axes (FHA). Mathematically, this FHA evolution constitutes a seven-dimensional quantity: one dimension for the time, two for the (normalized) direction vector, another two for the (unique) position vector, as well as one for each the angle of rotation around and the amount of translation along the axis. Predominantly in the literature, however, movements are assumed to take place in certain physiological planes on which FHA are projected. The resulting three-dimensional quantity – the so-called centrode – is easily presentable but leaves out substantial pieces of available data. Here, we investigate and assess several possibilities to visualize subsets of FHA data of increasing dimensionality. Finally, we utilize an agglomerative hierarchical clustering algorithm and propose a novel visualization technique, namely the quiver principal axis plot (QPAP), to depict the entirety of information inherent to hundreds or thousands of FHA. The QPAP method is applied to flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation movements of a lumbar spine within both a reduced model as well as a complex upper body system.

(Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2021.104528)

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