Mechanical competence of bone-implant systems can accurately be determined by image-based micro-finite element analyses
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The precise failure mechanisms of bone implants are still incompletely understood. Micro-computed tomography in combination with finite element analysis appears to be a potent methodology to determine the mechanical stability of bone-implant constructs. To assess this microstructural finite element (μFE) analysis approach, pull-out tests were designed and conducted on ten sheep vertebral bodies into which orthopedic screws were inserted. μFE models of the same bone-implant constructs were then built and solved, using a large-scale linear FE-solver. μFE calculated pull-out strength correlated highly with the experimentally measured pull-out strength (r2 = 0.87) thereby statistically supporting the μFE approach. These results suggest that bone-implant constructs can be analyzed using μFE in a detailed and unprecedented way. This could potentially facilitate the development of future implant designs leading to novel and improved fracture fixation methods.
KeywordsBone-implant competence Micro-finite element analysis (μFEA) Bone microstructure Peri-implant bone quality Mechanical testing Pull-out strength
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