Effects of soft tissue artifact in the measurement of hand kinematics

Federica Ragni, Cinzia Amici, Alberto Borboni, Rodolfo Faglia, Valter Cappellini, Paolo Pedersini, Jorge H. Villafañe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soft Tissue Artifact (STA) remains the most significant error for optoelectronic motion analyses based on surface markers. STA knowledge is fundamental for measurement confidence, providing indications about the significance of measured motion conditions of patients. STA is task-related and subject-dependent, but few actual datasets are currently available on STA in hand kinematics, with non-invasive techniques. Besides, STA depends on the measurement protocol, so normalization techniques as the deformation energy evaluation must be applied to make data comparable among different works. Focusing on hand kinematics, this paper presents: i) a new biomechanical model for the description of hand kinematics, and ii) design and results of an experimental campaign leading to a significant dataset of displacements of specific landmark points on fingers during flexion/extension using a non-invasive method. Experimental results show that STA produces an error up to 87% of the phalanges length and it can be suggested as clinical significance of optoelectronic measurements of the hand motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-242
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Review of Mechanical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Deformation energy
  • Hand biomechanical model
  • Optoelectronic system measurement error
  • STA modal analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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