Whole-body vibration in the skeleton: Development of a resonance-based testing device

J. Chris Fritton, Clinton T. Rubin, Yi Xian Qin, Kenneth J. McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Whole-body vibration (WBV) has been demonstrated to have a strong influence on physiological systems, ranging from severely destructive to potentially beneficial. Unfortunately, the study of WBV in a controlled manner is commonly constrained by space and budgetary factors, particularly where vibration in the low frequency range is considered. In the work presented here, a small, low-cost device for performing WBV of the human skeleton is developed to assist in studies of vertical acceleration in a clinical setting. The device design consists of a spring-supported plate driven by an 18 N peak-force electromagnetic actuator, and the associated driving and monitoring electronics. Animal and human lumped-mass models have been coupled with a model of the loading device to seek a resonance response in the vicinity of 30 Hz. This approach minimizes the loading requirements of such a device, and thus a major component of the cost, yet can provide peak accelerations of 0.15 g at a frequency of 30 Hz in a small, lightweight package capable of use in a clinical or laboratory setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-839
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Biodynamics
  • Biomechanical model
  • Dynamic stiffness
  • Dynamic testing
  • Exogenous
  • Frequency response
  • Mechanical amplification
  • Mechanical load
  • Osteoporosis
  • Strain

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