Mechanical Engineering - Research Publications

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    On Extremum Seeking in Bioprocesses with Multivalued Cost Functions
    Bastin, G ; Nesic, D ; Tan, Y ; Mareels, I (WILEY, 2009-05-01)
    Finding optimal operating modes for bioprocesses has been, for a long time, a relevant issue in bioengineering. The problem is of special interest when it implies the simultaneous optimization of competing objectives. In this paper, we address the problem of finding optimal steady states that achieve the best tradeoff between yield and productivity by using nonmodel-based extremum-seeking control with semiglobal practical stability and convergence properties. A special attention is paid to processes with multiple steady states and multivalued cost functions.
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    On global extremum seeking in the presence of local extrema
    Tan, Y ; Nesic, D ; Mareels, IMY ; Astolfi, A (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2009-01-01)
    We propose a global extremum seeking scheme which can seek the global optimal value in the presence of local extrema. It is shown that the proposed global extremum seeking scheme can converge to an arbitrarily small neighborhood of the global extremum from an arbitrarily large set of initial conditions if sufficient conditions are satisfied. A simple example illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.
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    On the choice of dither in extremum seeking systems: A case study
    Tan, Y ; Nesic, D ; Mareels, I (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2008-05-01)
    We discuss how the choice of dither (excitation signal) affects the performance of extremum seeking using a benchmark situation: a static scalar map; and a simple scalar extremum seeking scheme. Our comparisons are based on the performance of the system with different dithers in terms of three performance indicators: the speed of convergence, domain of attraction and accuracy (i.e. the ultimate bound on trajectories). Our analysis explicitly shows how the dither shape affects each of these performance indicators. Our study suggests that the practitioners using extremum seeking control should consider the dither shape as an important design parameter. Computer simulations support our theoretical findings.
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    On non-local stability properties of extrernum seeking control
    Tan, Y ; Nesic, D ; Mareels, I (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2006-06-01)
    In this paper, we consider several extremum seeking schemes and show under appropriate conditions that these schemes achieve extremum seeking from an arbitrarily large domain of initial conditions if the parameters in the controller are appropriately adjusted. This non-local stability result is proved by showing semi-global practical stability of the closed-loop system with respect to the design parameters. We show that reducing the size of the parameters typically slows down the convergence rate of the extremum seeking controllers and enlarges the domain of the attraction. Our results provide guidelines on how to tune the controller parameters in order to achieve extremum seeking. Simulation examples illustrate our results.
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    Influence of muscle-tendon wrapping on calculations of joint reaction forces in the equine distal forelimb
    Merritt, JS ; Davies, HMS ; Burvill, C ; Pandy, MG (HINDAWI PUBLISHING CORPORATION, 2008-01-01)
    The equine distal forelimb is a common location of injuries related to mechanical overload. In this study, a two-dimensional model of the musculoskeletal system of the region was developed and applied to kinematic and kinetic data from walking and trotting horses. The forces in major tendons and joint reaction forces were calculated. The components of the joint reaction forces caused by wrapping of tendons around sesamoid bones were found to be of similar magnitude to the reaction forces between the long bones at each joint. This finding highlighted the importance of taking into account muscle-tendon wrapping when evaluating joint loading in the equine distal forelimb.
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    Reliability and normative values for the foot mobility magnitude: a composite measure of vertical and medial-lateral mobility of the midfoot
    McPoil, TG ; Vicenzino, B ; Cornwall, MW ; Collins, N ; Warren, M (BMC, 2009-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: A study was conducted to determine the reliability and minimal detectable change for a new composite measure of the vertical and medial-lateral mobility of the midfoot called the foot mobility magnitude. METHODS: Three hundred and forty-five healthy participants volunteered to take part in the study. The change in dorsal arch height between weight bearing and non-weight bearing as well as the change in midfoot width between weight bearing and non-weight bearing were measured at 50% of total foot length and used to calculate the foot mobility magnitude. The reliability and minimal detectable change for the measurements were then determined based on the assessment of the measurements by three raters with different levels of clinical experience. RESULTS: The change in dorsal arch height between weight bearing and non-weight bearing, midfoot width between weight bearing and non-weight bearing, and the foot mobility magnitude were shown to have high levels of intra-rater and inter-rater reliability. Normative data are provided for the left and right feet of both the female (n = 211) and male (n = 134) subjects. CONCLUSION: While the measurements of navicular drop and drift have been used as a clinical method to assess both the vertical and medial-lateral mobility of the midfoot, poor to fair levels of inter-rater reliability have been reported. The results of the current study suggest that the foot mobility magnitude provides the clinician and researcher with a highly reliable measure of vertical and medial-lateral midfoot mobility.
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    Can foot anthropometric measurements predict dynamic plantar surface contact area?
    McPoil, TG ; Vicenzino, B ; Cornwall, MW ; Collins, N (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2009-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Previous studies have suggested that increased plantar surface area, associated with pes planus, is a risk factor for the development of lower extremity overuse injuries. The intent of this study was to determine if a single or combination of foot anthropometric measures could be used to predict plantar surface area. METHODS: Six foot measurements were collected on 155 subjects (97 females, 58 males, mean age 24.5 +/- 3.5 years). The measurements as well as one ratio were entered into a stepwise regression analysis to determine the optimal set of measurements associated with total plantar contact area either including or excluding the toe region. The predicted values were used to calculate plantar surface area and were compared to the actual values obtained dynamically using a pressure sensor platform. RESULTS: A three variable model was found to describe the relationship between the foot measures/ratio and total plantar contact area (R2 = 0.77, p < 0.0001)). A three variable model was also found to describe the relationship between the foot measures/ratio and plantar contact area minus the toe region (R2 = 0.76, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that the clinician can use a combination of simple, reliable, and time efficient foot anthropometric measurements to explain over 75% of the plantar surface contact area, either including or excluding the toe region.
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    Foot orthoses and physiotherapy in the treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome: A randomised clinical trial
    Vicenzino, B ; Collins, N ; Crossley, K ; Beller, E ; Darnell, R ; McPoil, T (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2008-02-27)
    BACKGROUND: Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a highly prevalent musculoskeletal overuse condition that has a significant impact on participation in daily and physical activities. A recent systematic review highlighted the lack of high quality evidence from randomised controlled trials for the conservative management of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Although foot orthoses are a commonly used intervention for patellofemoral pain syndrome, only two pilot studies with short term follow up have been conducted into their clinical efficacy. METHODS/DESIGN: A randomised single-blinded clinical trial will be conducted to investigate the clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness of foot orthoses in the management of patellofemoral pain syndrome. One hundred and seventy-six participants aged 18-40 with anterior or retropatellar knee pain of non-traumatic origin and at least six weeks duration will be recruited from the greater Brisbane area in Queensland, Australia through print, radio and television advertising. Suitable participants will be randomly allocated to receive either foot orthoses, flat insoles, physiotherapy or a combined intervention of foot orthoses and physiotherapy, and will attend six visits with a physiotherapist over a 6 week period. Outcome will be measured at 6, 12 and 52 weeks using primary outcome measures of usual and worst pain visual analogue scale, patient perceived treatment effect, perceived global effect, the Functional Index Questionnaire, and the Anterior Knee Pain Scale. Secondary outcome measures will include the Lower Extremity Functional Scale, McGill Pain Questionnaire, 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Patient-Specific Functional Scale, Physical Activity Level in the Previous Week, pressure pain threshold and physical measures of step and squat tests. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be based on treatment effectiveness against resource usage recorded in treatment logs and self-reported diaries. DISCUSSION: The randomised clinical trial will utilise high-quality methodologies in accordance with CONSORT guidelines, in order to contribute to the limited knowledge base regarding the clinical efficacy of foot orthoses in the management of patellofemoral pain syndrome, and provide practitioners with high-quality evidence upon which to base clinical decisions. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN012605000463673ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00118521.
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    Gait analysis methods in rehabilitation
    Baker, R (BMC, 2006-03-02)
    INTRODUCTION: Brand's four reasons for clinical tests and his analysis of the characteristics of valid biomechanical tests for use in orthopaedics are taken as a basis for determining what methodologies are required for gait analysis in a clinical rehabilitation context. MEASUREMENT METHODS IN CLINICAL GAIT ANALYSIS: The state of the art of optical systems capable of measuring the positions of retro-reflective markers placed on the skin is sufficiently advanced that they are probably no longer a significant source of error in clinical gait analysis. Determining the anthropometry of the subject and compensating for soft tissue movement in relation to the under-lying bones are now the principal problems. Techniques for using functional tests to determine joint centres and axes of rotation are starting to be used successfully. Probably the last great challenge for optical systems is in using computational techniques to compensate for soft tissue measurements. In the long term future it is possible that direct imaging of bones and joints in three dimensions (using MRI or fluoroscopy) may replace marker based systems. METHODS FOR INTERPRETING GAIT ANALYSIS DATA: There is still not an accepted general theory of why we walk the way we do. In the absence of this, many explanations of walking address the mechanisms by which specific movements are achieved by particular muscles. A whole new methodology is developing to determine the functions of individual muscles. This needs further development and validation. A particular requirement is for subject specific models incorporating 3-dimensional imaging data of the musculo-skeletal anatomy with kinematic and kinetic data. METHODS FOR UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF INTERVENTION: Clinical gait analysis is extremely limited if it does not allow clinicians to choose between alternative possible interventions or to predict outcomes. This can be achieved either by rigorously planned clinical trials or using theoretical models. The evidence base is generally poor partly because of the limited number of prospective clinical trials that have been completed and more such studies are essential. Very recent work has started to show the potential of using models of the mechanisms by which people with pathology walk in order to simulate different potential interventions. The development of these models offers considerable promise for new clinical applications of gait analysis.
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    Splice site identification using probabilistic parameters and SVM classification
    Baten, AKMA ; Chang, BCH ; Halgamuge, SK ; Li, J (BioMed Central, 2006-12-18)
    BACKGROUND: Recent advances and automation in DNA sequencing technology has created a vast amount of DNA sequence data. This increasing growth of sequence data demands better and efficient analysis methods. Identifying genes in this newly accumulated data is an important issue in bioinformatics, and it requires the prediction of the complete gene structure. Accurate identification of splice sites in DNA sequences plays one of the central roles of gene structural prediction in eukaryotes. Effective detection of splice sites requires the knowledge of characteristics, dependencies, and relationship of nucleotides in the splice site surrounding region. A higher-order Markov model is generally regarded as a useful technique for modeling higher-order dependencies. However, their implementation requires estimating a large number of parameters, which is computationally expensive. RESULTS: The proposed method for splice site detection consists of two stages: a first order Markov model (MM1) is used in the first stage and a support vector machine (SVM) with polynomial kernel is used in the second stage. The MM1 serves as a pre-processing step for the SVM and takes DNA sequences as its input. It models the compositional features and dependencies of nucleotides in terms of probabilistic parameters around splice site regions. The probabilistic parameters are then fed into the SVM, which combines them nonlinearly to predict splice sites. When the proposed MM1-SVM model is compared with other existing standard splice site detection methods, it shows a superior performance in all the cases. CONCLUSION: We proposed an effective pre-processing scheme for the SVM and applied it for the identification of splice sites. This is a simple yet effective splice site detection method, which shows a better classification accuracy and computational speed than some other more complex methods.