, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 275-285

Modelling external bone adaptation using evolutionary structural optimisation

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External remodelling is significant in the bone healing process, and it is essential to predict the bone external shape in the design of artificial bone grafts. This paper demonstrates the effectiveness of the evolutionary structural optimisation (ESO) method for the simulation of bone morphology. A two-dimensional ESO strategy is developed which is capable of finding the modified bone topology beginning with any geometry under any loading conditions. The morphology of bone structure is described by the quantitative bone adaptation theory, which is integrated with the finite element method. The evolutionary topology optimisation process is introduced to find the bone shape. A rectangle, which occupies a larger space than the external shape of the bone structure, is specified as a design domain; the evolutionary process iteratively eliminates and redistributes material throughout the domain to obtain an optimum arrangement of bone materials. The technique has been tested on a wide range of examples. In this paper, the formation of trabecular bone architecture around an implant is studied; as another example, the growth of the coronal section of a vertebral body is predicted. The examples support the assertion that the external shape of bone structure can be successfully predicted by the proposed ESO procedure.