This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Chaotic Dynamic Character of Human Chewing Determined Using New Three-Dimensional Motion Capture Techniques




McIntyre, Joseph

Type of Degree



Mechanical Engineering


A need exists to determine the dynamic character of natural human chewing so human mandible or lower jaw biomechanics can be fully understood. No one has reported investigating the dynamic character of natural human chewing or a method to determine it. The dynamic character of natural human chewing not being known results in trial-and-error development of new therapies and products. Even more importantly, failure to understand the dynamic character of chewing results in flawed experimental design and data interpretation in studies of mandible motion. The objectives of this research were to develop a highly precise method to measure mandible motion during natural human chewing and to mathematically determine the dynamic character of natural human chewing. New techniques were employed with a high resolution motion capture system combined with a distortion minimizing attachment scheme for retroreflective markers to achieve precise measurements of mandible motion in three dimensions. Mathematical analysis of natural human chewing motion indicated that its dynamic character was chaotic. Studies involving mandible motion must take into account its chaotic dynamic character to advance knowledge of mandible biomechanics and achieve successful therapies and products.