Author(s): Janda S, van der Helm FC, de Blok SB
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Abstract The goal of this study was to obtain a complete data set needed for studying the complex biomechanical behaviour of the pelvic floor muscles using a computer model based on the finite element (FE) theory. The model should be able to predict the effect of surgical interventions and give insight into the function of pelvic floor muscles. Because there was a lack of any information concerning morphological parameters of the pelvic floor muscle structures, we performed an experimental measurement to uncover those morphological parameters. Geometric parameters as well as muscle parameters of the pelvic floor muscles were measured on an embalmed female cadaver. A three-dimensional (3D) geometric data set of the pelvic floor including muscle fibre directions was obtained using a palpator device. A 3D surface model based on the experimental data, needed for mathematical modelling of the pelvic floor, was created. For all parts of the diaphragma pelvis, the optimal muscle fibre length was determined by laser diffraction measurements of the sarcomere length. In addition, other muscle parameters such as physiological cross-sectional area and total muscle fibre length were determined. Apart from these measurements we obtained a data set of the pelvic floor structures based on nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the same cadaver specimen. The purpose of this experiment was to discover the relationship between the MRI morphology and geometrical parameters obtained from the previous measurements. The produced data set is not only important for biomechanical modelling of the pelvic floor muscles, but it also describes the geometry of muscle fibres and is useful for functional analysis of the pelvic floor in general. By the use of many reference landmarks all these morphologic data concerning fibre directions and optimal fibre length can be morphed to the geometrical data based on segmentation from MRI scans. These data can be directly used as an input for building a mathematical model based on FE theory.
This article was published in J Biomech
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy