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Application of an optimisation algorithm to configure an internal fixation device

Ibrahim, Salma (2010) Application of an optimisation algorithm to configure an internal fixation device. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Fractures of long bones are sometimes treated using various types of fracture fixation devices including internal plate fixators. These are specialised plates which are used to bridge the fracture gap(s) whilst anatomically aligning the bone fragments. The plate is secured in position by screws. The aim of such a device is to support and promote the natural healing of the bone. When using an internal fixation device, it is necessary for the clinician to decide upon many parameters, for example, the type of plate and where to position it; how many and where to position the screws. While there have been a number of experimental and computational studies conducted regarding the configuration of screws in the literature, there is still inadequate information available concerning the influence of screw configuration on fracture healing. Because screw configuration influences the amount of flexibility at the area of fracture, it has a direct influence on the fracture healing process. Therefore, it is important that the chosen screw configuration does not inhibit the healing process. In addition to the impact on the fracture healing process, screw configuration plays an important role in the distribution of stresses in the plate due to the applied loads. A plate that experiences high stresses is prone to early failure. Hence, the screw configuration used should not encourage the occurrence of high stresses. This project develops a computational program in Fortran programming language to perform mathematical optimisation to determine the screw configuration of an internal fixation device within constraints of interfragmentary movement by minimising the corresponding stress in the plate. Thus, the optimal solution suggests the positioning and number of screws which satisfies the predefined constraints of interfragmentary movements. For a set of screw configurations the interfragmentary displacement and the stress occurring in the plate were calculated by the Finite Element Method. The screw configurations were iteratively changed and each time the corresponding interfragmentary displacements were compared with predefined constraints. Additionally, the corresponding stress was compared with the previously calculated stress value to determine if there was a reduction. These processes were continued until an optimal solution was achieved. The optimisation program has been shown to successfully predict the optimal screw configuration in two cases. The first case was a simplified bone construct whereby the screw configuration solution was comparable with those recommended in biomechanical literature. The second case was a femoral construct, of which the resultant screw configuration was shown to be similar to those used in clinical cases. The optimisation method and programming developed in this study has shown that it has potential to be used for further investigations with the improvement of optimisation criteria and the efficiency of the program.

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ID Code: 42517
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Mishra, Sanjay& Chen, Gongfa
Keywords: biomechanics, optimisation algorithm, finite element modelling, fracture healing, internal fracture fixation
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 08 Jul 2011 11:17
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2011 11:17

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