Animation SI.pptx from Does the model reflect the system? When two dimensional biomechanics is not ‘good enough.’
presentationposted on 2022-12-30, 10:41 authored by Amanda L. Smith, Julian Davis, Olga Panagiotopoulou, Andrea B. Taylor, Chris Robinson, Carol V. Ward, William H. Kimbel, Zeresenay Alemseged, Callum F. Ross
Models are mathematical representations of systems, processes, or phenomena. In biomechanics, finite-element modelling (FEM) can be a powerful tool, allowing biologists to test form-function relationships in silico, replacing or extending results of in vivo experimentation. Although modelling simplifications and assumptions are necessary, as a minimum modelling requirement the results of the simplified model must reflect the biomechanics of the modelled system. In cases where the three-dimensional mechanics of a structure are important determinants of its performance, simplified two-dimensional modelling approaches are likely to produce inaccurate results. The vertebrate mandible is one among many three-dimensional anatomical structures routinely modelled using two-dimensional FE analysis. We thus compare the stress regimes of our published three-dimensional model of the chimpanzee mandible to a published two-dimensional model of the chimpanzee mandible and identify several fundamental differences. We then present a series of two-dimensional and three-dimensional FE modelling experiments that demonstrate how three key modelling parameters; (1) dimensionality, (2) symmetric geometry, and (3) constraints affect deformation and strain regimes of the models. Our results confirm that, in the case of the primate mandible (at least), two-dimensional FEM fails to meet this minimum modelling requirement and should not be used to draw functional, ecological or evolutionary conclusions.