Biomechanics Research Team

Biomechanics Research Team is one of the research teams in the Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, ITB (FMAE – ITB). As the name suggests, the Biomechanics Research Team is conducting a lot of research in the biomechanics field. Biomechanics is the study of the movement of living things using the science of mechanics. The biomechanics field is developing until now so that this field consists of several branches, such as gait and posture, neurological and motor control, musculoskeletal biomechanics, sports biomechanics, dental biomechanics, etc. Recently, the Biomechanics Research Team FMAE – ITB is conducting many kinds of research in the field of gait & posture, sensors & devices, prosthetics & orthotics, rehabilitation technology, sports biomechanics, and impact biomechanics.

Gait & Posture

The research in the gait & posture field was initiated by developing an affordable two-dimensional optical motion capture system to obtain a gait parameter in 2008. Then, the developed system was used to obtain an Indonesian normal gait database together with Hasan Sadikin hospital in 2011. The 2D optical motion capture was then improved by making use of two cameras to analyze human motion in three dimensions. Recently, the 3D optical motion capture system by exploiting four-sport action cameras is being developed for the sake of affordability and portability.

Currently, the developed optical motion capture system is being used to investigate gait variability and stability. Gait variability could be defined as the stride-to-stride fluctuation in the walking movement. In our team, the gait variability is quantified by centroid drift of the phase portrait. On the other hand, gait stability is defined as the resilience of the subject in controlling body center of mass (CoM) position relative to the base of support (BoS), so that does not lead to falls during the walking motion. The gait stability is assessed by the method of Lyapunov Exponent (LE) and Recurrence Quantifiers Analysis (RQA) in our team. Various factors that affect gait variability and stability were evaluated, such as prosthetics application for the amputee, age, gender, etc.

Sensors & Devices

Sensors and devices are developed to support the research in the Biomechanics Research Team, especially in the field of gait & posture and sports biomechanics. The sensors that have been developed are an affordable optical motion capture system and force plate. The established affordable optical motion capture system consists of home video cameras, a calibration frame, and a set of markers. The optical motion capture system is improved by making use of sport action cameras until now to enhance its portability. Moreover, our team has also developed an affordable force platform to measure Ground Reaction Force (GRF) and Center of Pressure (CoP) in three directions of human movement. Currently, we are developing extraoral aerosol suction together with a negative chamber to prevent virus transmission, especially in this SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. By applying this device, there will be no virus transmission between the patient and the dentist.

Prosthetics & Orthotics

Apart from the above topics, our team is also developing prosthetics and orthotics to improve human welfare. Biomechanics Research Team has developed a transfemoral knee prosthetic since 2014. This knee prosthetic is still being improved now so that it has optimum design and ready to be used by amputees in Indonesia. In addition, the innovation of rotator in our knee prosthetics that made it possible to sit cross-legged results in a patent from Direktorat Jenderal Kekayaan Intelektual (DJKI), Indonesia. Besides knee prosthetics, we have also developed a bionic hand that includes seven basic grip patterns. This bionic hand is triggered by the amputee’s muscle signals that are acquired by electromyography (EMG). Currently, the bionic hand is still improved so that it can be applied by amputees in Indonesia.

In order to help dentists in their duties, Biomechanics Research Team has done various studies and researches in the dental biomechanics or orthotics area. Biomechanics Research Team has successfully developed a faster methodology to analyze the stress distribution of the teeth, jawbones, periodontal ligaments, and any treatment which is performed to the teeth, jaw bone, and periodontal ligament such as a dental implant, root canal treatment, usage of the splint, etc. The method consists of scanning the mouth of the patient with CBCT or CT scan, then processing the scanned results to a cloud model, then creating a solid model from the cloud model, and at the end processing it uses finite element software. The developed method has been utilized to optimize the ferrule root canal design, dental implant design, as well as the design of the splint for bruxism patients. Biomechanics Research Team has also successfully designed and produced the weaver and template which help the dental surgeons in jaw fixation surgery, by implementing 3D printing.

Rehabilitation Technology

In the field of rehabilitation technology, Biomechanics Research Team design and manufacture a structure or mechanism with mechanical aspects like that of a human body part to support its function. There are several rehabilitation technologies that have been developed by our teams, such as an affordable exoskeleton and Taylor spatial frame (TSF). The developed exoskeleton is used to help spinal cord injury patients in the sit-to-stand movement or vice versa. The exoskeleton is designed to be used by patients with 150 – 184 cm height and a maximum weight of 85 kg. On the other hand, a TSF is one of the external fixation equipment for bone fracture. The main advantage of TSF is it could be used for complex bone fractures. Currently, the development of exoskeleton and TSF is still going on to optimize their function.

Sports Biomechanics

Biomechanics, especially human movement analysis could be also applied to sports, called sports biomechanics. The main objective of sports biomechanics is injury prevention and performance improvement. There are several sports that have been analyzed in our teams, such as weightlifting, badminton, and football. The weightlifting analysis was conducted collaborated with Sport Sciences Research Group, School of Pharmacy, ITB. The badminton analysis was studied in 2020 to observe the athlete’s arm motion when doing smash. At the same time, the Biomechanics Research Teams investigated the influence of stud shape and pattern of football shoes on artificial grass for three basics movements in football.

Impact Biomechanics

Biomechanics Research Team has performed various researches on crashworthiness and injury biomechanics since 2012, with the focus on the safety of bus passengers, it is one of the main transportation modes in Indonesia. The structural analysis of bus superstructure in the rollover and frontal collision accidents have been performed thoroughly. Experimental validation has also been performed to validate the structural analysis. Additionally, to ensure passengers’ safety, a thorough analysis of the passenger’s injury has also been performed, which includes head, neck, chest, and leg injuries. The passenger is modeled by a dummy which represents the typical Indonesian passenger. The simulations that have been performed can be divided into two types: full-scale simulation and simplified simulation. The full-scale simulation can produce more accurate results with the cost of simulation time. On the other hand, simplified simulation required a much faster simulation time with acceptable error. Analysis of the other transportation modes will also be done soon, to improve the passenger’s safety, especially in Indonesia.