Development of a cadaveric shoulder motion simulator with open-loop iterative learning for dynamic, multiplanar motion: a preliminary study

David Timothy Axford*, Robert Potra, Richard Appleyard, Janos Tomka, Antonio Arenas-Miquelez, Desmond Bokor, Louis Ferreira, Sumit Raniga

*Corresponding author for this work

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Ex vivo shoulder motion simulators are commonly used to study shoulder biomechanics but are often limited to performing simple planar motions at quasi-static speeds using control architectures that do not allow muscles to be deactivated. The purpose of this study was to develop an open-loop tendon excursion controller with iterative learning and independent muscle control to simulate complex multiplanar motion at functional speeds and allow for muscle deactivation. The simulator performed abduction/adduction, faceted circumduction, and abduction/adduction (subscapularis deactivation) using a cadaveric shoulder with an implanted reverse total shoulder prosthesis. Kinematic tracking accuracy and repeatability were assessed using maximum absolute error (MAE), root mean square error (RMSE), and average standard deviation (ASD). During abduction/adduction and faceted circumduction, the RMSE did not exceed 0.3, 0.7, and 0.8 degrees for elevation, plane of elevation, and axial rotation, respectively. During abduction/adduction, the ASD did not exceed 0.2 degrees. Abduction/adduction (subscapularis deactivation) resulted in a loss of internal rotation, which could not be restored at low elevation angles. This study presents a novel control architecture, which can accurately simulate complex glenohumeral motion. This simulator will be used as a testing platform to examine the effect of shoulder pathology, treatment, and rehabilitation on joint biomechanics during functional shoulder movements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4596
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • active motion simulation
  • biomechanics
  • ex vivo
  • in vitro
  • reverse total shoulder arthroplasty
  • shoulder


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