Mechanical testing and modelling of a bone-implant construct

Grant, Caroline (2012) Mechanical testing and modelling of a bone-implant construct. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Finite Element modelling of bone fracture fixation systems allows computational investigation of the deformation response of the bone to load. Once validated, these models can be easily adapted to explore changes in design or configuration of a fixator. The deformation of the tissue within the fracture gap determines its healing and is often summarised as the stiffness of the construct. FE models capable of reproducing this behaviour would provide valuable insight into the healing potential of different fixation systems. Current model validation techniques lack depth in 6D load and deformation measurements. Other aspects of the FE model creation such as the definition of interfaces between components have also not been explored.

This project investigated the mechanical testing and FE modelling of a bone– plate construct for the determination of stiffness. In depth 6D measurement and analysis of the generated forces, moments and movements showed large out of plane behaviours which had not previously been characterised. Stiffness calculated from the interfragmentary movement was found to be an unsuitable summary parameter as the error propagation is too large.

Current FE modelling techniques were applied in compression and torsion mimicking the experimental setup. Compressive stiffness was well replicated, though torsional stiffness was not. The out of plane behaviours prevalent in the experimental work were not replicated in the model.

The interfaces between the components were investigated experimentally and through modification to the FE model. Incorporation of the interface modelling techniques into the full construct models had no effect in compression but did act to reduce torsional stiffness bringing it closer to that of the experiment. The interface definitions had no effect on out of plane behaviours, which were still not replicated.

Neither current nor novel FE modelling techniques were able to replicate the out of plane behaviours evident in the experimental work. New techniques for modelling loads and boundary conditions need to be developed to mimic the effects of the entire experimental system.

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ID Code: 62191
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Epari, Devakar, Steck, Roland, Schuetz, Michael, Mishra, Sanjay, & Chen, Gongfa
Keywords: mechanical testing, internal fixator, bone analogue, osteotomy, fracture gap, interfragmentary movement, stiffness, FE modelling, interfaces
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 29 Aug 2013 04:29
Last Modified: 22 May 2014 02:37

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