MSMS can be used in various areas of movement science ranging from the study of the motor control of movement to rehabilitation of movement disorders resulting from stroke, paralysis, and amputation. The followings are some of the current and future areas of application.

Simulation of Sensorimotor Control of Movement in Humans and Animals
Control of movement by the central nervous system is studied in many fields and from many perspectives. MSMS can facilitate such studies in two ways:

  • MSMS can be used to build real-time virtual environments where a primate subject implanted with cortical electrodes can use brain signals to control the motion of objects such as a cursor or a prosthesis in the virtual environment. These virtual motor control experiments help scientists understand how the brain controls movement.
  • Scientists often develop models of control circuits in the brain and spinal cord to study the control of movement. MSMS enables the scientists to combine the models of the control circuits in the central nervous system with accurate anatomical models of the limb to form a complete model of the sensorimotor control systems. To facilitate such studies, MSMS offers accurate models of muscle force production, muscle energy consumption, and proprioceptive sensors.

Simulation of Neural Prosthesis for Amputee Patients
The amputee patients must learn to produce complex voluntary commands such as EMG (or cortical signals in the future) to control the motion of their prosthesis. But this is a difficult learning task that is expected to increase in difficulty as the patients are fitted with multi-degrees of freedom prosthetic limbs and have to learn to produce complex neural commands to operate them. MSMS can facilitate various stages of engineering development and clinical fitting of the sophisticated prosthetic limbs.

  • Models of prosthetic limbs (built in MSMS or imported from SolidWorks) can be simulated by engineers to optimize the mechanical design of the limb and its degrees of freedom.
  • Models of the prosthetic limbs can be combined with models of rehabilitation tasks or games in MSMS to build interactive virtual training applications where the patients can learn to operate their prosthesis in a safe and motivating environment.

Simulation of FES Control Systems for Paralyzed Patients
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a technique for reanimation of the paralyzed muscles with electrical stimulation. Precise control of the electrical stimulation can help restore movement to the paralyzed limbs. In MSMS, accurate models of the paralyzed limbs can be developed and used as safe test-beds to develop and evaluate FES control systems.

Virtual Rehabilitation of Movement
Virtual games and rehabilitation tasks are used as engaging and readily available tools to rehabilitate and train the patients with neurological disorders. MSMS can facilitate the modeling of such rehabilitation tasks and games.

Biomechanics of Movement
Accurate biomechanical models can provide access to those internal movement parameters that cannot be observed by experimentation alone. In MSMS, the user can build accurate biomechanical models humans or animals and:

  • Investigate the function of the muscles and their contribution to the joint motion by plotting anatomical variables such as muscle force, muscle moment arm, muscle moment, etc.
  • Interactively modify the model to simulate surgery scenarios such as tendon transfer and observe the resulting changes in muscle function.
  • Investigate the control of the limb by performing physics-based simulations that predict the motion of the limb in response to control inputs and external forces.


Simulation of Muscle Physiology Experiments
In muscle physiology experiments, an isolated muscle may be extracted from an animal such as frog and placed in a fixture to investigate its response to external stimuli. Such isolated muscle experiments can be simulated in MSMS. The muscles in MSMS can be either part of a skeletal system or connected to a ground-fixed structure. MSMS then creates a Simulink model of the isolated muscle that can be used to simulate its response to input excitations.

Robotics and Mechatronics
MSMS offers a number of tools that facilitate the modeling and simulation of mechatronic systems such as robots and prosthetic limbs. The models can be built in MSMS or imported from SolidWorks. Then electric motor actuators, artificial sensors, and models of the environment can be added in MSMS to complete the task model. More importantly, electric motors and artificial sensors can be replaced with muscles and Proprioceptors to model bio-inspired mechatronic systems.

As a musculoskeletal modeling software with full interactivity, MSMS is ideally suited for education of biomechanics and motor control of movement. MSMS is the first musculoskeletal modeling software that allows the users to build, edit, and simulate their models using only interactive graphical tools.