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Evaluating the Dynamic Stiffness of the Human Lumbar Region

Zavier Aguirre and Dr. Muhammad Salman, Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Kennesaw State University, 1100 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta, GA 30060

The human body is comprised of many different tissues and cellular structures, which are entirely for the purpose of creating and transferring mechanical forces. The human spine, for example, is structured in multiple layers of bone, ligaments, and cartilage intended for the support of the torso. The spine encounters constant forces daily, and learning more about the mechanical characteristics of the spine can lead to understanding how to better care for the spine, and treat spinal injuries. The research conducted in this article was focused entirely on the human lumbar region, specifically lumbar vertebrae L2 and L4. For the experimentation, a mannequin closely resembling the human body was used. The mannequin, referred to as PAT, was designed by Life University in Marietta, Georgia, for spinal manipulation training. To test for the mechanical characteristics of the human lumbar region, PAT was exposed to vibrations ranging from approximately 8 hertz to 70 hertz. The results from the study were used to find the dynamic stiffness at lumbar vertebrae, L2 and L4. Dynamic stiffness is the ability of any structure to resist a dynamic loading or vibration, and is the ratio between the dynamic loading (frequency) and the dynamic displacement. Analyzing the vibration data in MATLAB highlighted major dampening potential in PAT, thus allowing a dynamic stiffness to be found upon further calculation. Finding the dynamic stiffness of PAT's lumbar vertebrae provides a better insight to the dynamic stiffness of real human vertebrae. Finding this information is useful for designing machinery, transportation, and buildings that avoid the resonant frequency of the human body, which could be dangerous or cause serious injury.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Zavier Aguirre

Institution: Kennesaw State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Engineering

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4593