Institute of Mechanics - Department of Civil Engineering, Geo and Environmental Sciences

Three-dimensional finite element modeling of the jaw musculature for the simulation of realistic load conditions in the stomatognathic system

  • contact:

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Schweizerhof
    Dr. rer. nat. Jürgen Lenz
    Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Rues

  • project group: Biomechanics
  • funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Numerical investigation of bone and muscle structure of lower and upper jaw

Description of the project

The project aims at simulating realistic load cases in the stomatognathic system, consisting of the lower and upper jaw and of the jaw musculature, as well as “normal” and prospectively pathogenic load conditions of the jaw musculature (applications: stress distribution in the bony support around single implants and distributions of implants; modeling and remodeling behaviour of the bone structure; orthodontic problems; strength analyses of dental restorations). As a clinical application the development of therapeutic intervention strategies for the treatment of myofacial pain syndromes, attributed to overloading of the musculature, is intended, among others. So far, in modeling the forces transferred by the musculature between the upper and lower jaw, as a simplification single force vectors are assigned to the participating muscles. In the project, the Finite Element (FE) model of the mandible, the maxilla and the adjacent bony structures already generated in a previous project, shall be amended in a realistic way by the complete three-dimensional muscle structure. For that purpose, for a broad asymptomatic sample of patients, intramuscular electromyographic signals of regional muscle activities shall be recorded and single motor units under variable muscle loading registered in clinical experiments. Synchronically the associated muscle forces shall be recorded three-dimensionally by an intraoral measuring device. In this context, the complex recruitment behaviour of the musculature (“compartmentation”) shall be analysed. The parameters attained in this manner, shall be incorporated into the FE model in order to allow in the future for a realistic simulation of the load conditions in the musculature as well as in the bony structures under various motor tasks.