Dylan Psulkowski: Predictive Dynamic Simulation for Meniscal Degradation

Dylan Psulkowski is a 2020 Stephen and Ina McNichols grant winner. His project is titled “Simulating Meniscus Deterioration for Personalized Treatment” and his faculty mentor is Prof. Tarick Dickens in the Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering.

During the progress of developing a dynamic running simulation for the deterioration of the meniscus, I have garnered much information about the musculoskeletal interactions between the knee joint and the respective interaction with the menisci of the knee. Thus far I have successfully created a running simulation in OpenSim, an application made to help develop and analyze several features of the musculoskeletal system of the body. I have progressed from creating a simple working model to a more complex model that will include the parameters that my study will be focusing on.

While learning and working with software that is foreign to me has proven to be challenging, guidance from my supervisor Dr. Tarik Dickens has allowed me to expand my boundaries as a student within this field of study. The next phase of my project will focus on fine tuning my simulation to account for the several parameters this study seeks to find. These findings will be incorporated into an age dependent degradation formula that will account for existing degradation of the cartilage with respect to age. After development, statistical analysis will be performed for each parameter of the simulation to determine significance of the findings.

Visuals and graphics will then be generated from the analyses and projected onto various mediums such as a 3D meniscal force mapping, contact force diagrams and replicative simulation videos. I look forward to continuing this work under the guidance of Dr. Dickens in the fall, working on an Honors thesis to develop a device that could provide live output of these metrics to an individual and rank them into calculated degrees of possible injury to then recommend changes in their mechanical behavior. Thank you very much, I look forward to sharing my finished project with you all very soon!

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