Application of multibody system dynamics to rehabilitation and assistive technologies

Guest Editors: 
John McPhee, University of Waterloo, Canada
Arend L. Schwab, TU Delft, The Netherlands
Josep M. Font-Llagunes, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain (corresponding)

In the last decade, there has been an exponential growth in the number of rehabilitation and assistive technologies for people with neuromuscular impairments. Such technologies range from wearable human movement monitoring devices to exoskeletons and rehabilitation robots aimed at maximizing motor function recovery. Most of these technologies require a comprehension of mechanical aspects of the human neuromusculoskeletal system and rehabilitation/assistive devices, which can be modelled by means of multibody dynamics techniques. The proposed Special Issue invites theoretical and experimental studies dealing with the design, simulation or control of rehabilitation/assistive technologies such as robotic exoskeletons or end-effectors, prostheses, functional electrical stimulation or neuroprostheses, and movement monitoring technologies, among others.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Modelling and simulation of the biomechatronic system comprising human neuromusculoskeletal and rehabilitation/assistive device models.
- Human movement analysis while using such technologies.
- Predictive simulation of movement using assistive/rehabilitation technologies.
- Analysis of neural control adaptation to assistive/rehabilitation technologies.
- Optimal design of rehabilitation/assistive technologies.
- Personalization of rehabilitation/assistive technologies through simulation.
- Metrics for human movement analysis while using such technologies.

Closing date: March 31, 2023

How to submit: 
All submissions must be original and may not be under review by another publication. Interested authors should consult the journal’s “Submission Guidelines” at
Articles can be submitted through Editorial Manager:
The special issue is created as submission questionnaire in the system. When you submit your paper you will be asked if your paper belongs to a special issue. If you answer yes, a pull down menu prompts up where you can select the title of the special issue to which you are submitting your paper.
All submitted papers will be reviewed on a peer review basis as soon as they are received. Accepted papers will become immediately available at Online First until the complete Special Issue appears.

Guest Editor Biographies: 
John McPhee is Canada’s leading expert in system dynamics.johnmcphee He has pioneered the mathematical development of graph-theoretic modelling and its application to the unified dynamics of multidisciplinary physical systems. His intellectual achievements, published in 168 journal papers and 292 conference papers and abstracts, have been recognized by the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation (presented by the Governor-General of Canada), 10 Best Paper awards, the Engineering Excellence Medal from Professional Engineers Ontario, and an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Grant. His ground-breaking graph-theoretic methods have been commercialized by Maplesoft and licensed to thousands of users worldwide. Applications of his work range from stroke rehabilitation robots to the reduction of harmful emissions from the next generation of hybrid electric vehicles. Dr. McPhee is internationally recognized for his original contributions; he is the Vice-Chair and former Chair of the International Association for Multibody System Dynamics, a co-founder of 2 journals and 3 international technical committees, a frequent keynote speaker, and an Associate Editor for 6 leading journals in his field. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Engineering Institute of Canada. Dr. McPhee has supervised 114 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are academic leaders at other universities in Canada and abroad.

Arend L. Schwab has a bicycle dynamics lab. He works inArendSchwabPortraitFotoSmall theoretical and applied mechanics and teaches mechanics and multibody dynamics. He is interested in Dynamics of Mechanical Systems, the so-called Multibody Dynamics. In particular, the treatment of contact phenomena like in collisions and rolling (non-holonomic constraints) have his special attention. He is also knowledgeable to a greater or lesser extent about dynamics of flexible multibody systems, finite element method, legged locomotion, speed skating and bicycle dynamics and control. His degrees are from Engineering at Dordrecht (BSc 1979) and Engineering at Delft (MSc 1983, PhD 2002).

Josep Maria Font Llagunes is a Full Professor of the Departmentjosep-maria-font-llagunes-biomec-upc of Mechanical Engineering at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona. He is also the Director of the Biomechanical Engineering Lab (BIOMEC), Co-founder of the spin-off ABLE Human Motion, and Associate Director for Innovation at the Research Centre for Biomedical Engineering (CREB). In the past, he has served as Associate Director for Research and Technology Transfer (2017-2021) and Postgraduate Studies (2013-2017) at the Barcelona School of Industrial Engineering (ETSEIB). Josep Maria obtained the Master’s Degrees in Industrial Engineering (minor in Mechanical Engineering) and Biomedical Engineering from UPC, and received his PhD Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universitat de Girona. Then, he was postdoctoral fellow at the Applied Dynamics Group of the Centre for Intelligent Machines, McGill University (Canada). Josep Maria founded the BIOMEC research lab in 2009 and, since then, has led several competitive projects and industrial contracts in the areas of rehabilitation robotics, biomechanics of human movement, and multibody system dynamics. So far, he has published 37 articles in high-impact journals, more than 100 conference papers, 3 book chapters, and has supervised 5 doctoral theses. He chaired the ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on Multibody Dynamics that took place in Barcelona in 2015, and has actively participated in the program and organizing committees of various scientific conferences. He is Editorial Board member of the journal Multibody System Dynamics. Josep Maria currently serves as Chair of the Technical Committee for Multibody Dynamics of IFToMM, and Coordinator of the Spanish Network in Biomechanics Research. Previously, he was Vice-President of the Spanish Chapter of the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB), and participated in the International Steering Committee of IMSD (International Association for Multibody System Dynamics). Josep Maria has been awarded with the Agustín de Betancourt y Molina Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering (2017), the OpenSim/NCSRR Outstanding Researcher Award (2017), and the Leonardo Grant by the BBVA Foundation (2018).