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Title: Modelling neuronal activity at the knee joint
Author: Palmer, Gwen
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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The knee is a complex joint, prone to instability and damage, meaning a complicated architecture of soft tissues is necessary to ensure any stability of the joint. These structures are innervated, and play an important role in both proprioception, the sensing of a body’s own limb positions, and nociception, the sensing of painful stimuli. The purpose of this project has been to develop a computational model that can replicate the behaviour of the mechanical sensing nerve endings in the knee joint. An adapted Hodgkin-Huxley model has been developed and used to simulate the behaviour of the nerve endings. These models have been coupled with a three dimensional finite element model of a feline knee joint, which has been built with use of x-ray CT and MRI scans of a cat’s hind limb, allowing neural responses to be predicted as the position of the knee joint changes. Once the behaviour of the complete model has been verified, through comparisons with recordings of neural responses in the literature, it was possible to observe the effect of removing a soft tissue structure on the neural response. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was removed from the model, and a series of tests run to determine the effect of ligament damage on neural response. It was predicted that removing the ACL from the knee joint can increase the neural responses to changes in knee position, agreeing with data in the literature. This could indicate an increase in pain at the joint, and could help with understanding the causes of pain and changes proprioception experienced by patients with damaged ACL.
Supervisor: Roose, Tiina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; QM Human anatomy