A Preliminary Study of Bending Stiffness Alteration in Shape Changing Nitinol Plates for Fracture Fixation
Nitinol is a promising biomaterial based on its remarkable shape changing capacity, biocompatibility, and resilient mechanical properties. Until now, very limited applications have been tested for the use of Nitinol plates for fracture fixation in orthopaedics. Newly designed fracture-fixation plates are tested by four-point bending to examine a change in equivalent bending stiffness before and after shape transformation. The goal of stiffness alterable bone plates is to optimize the healing process during osteosynthesis in situ that is customized in time of onset, percent change as well as being performed non-invasively for the patient. The equivalent bending stiffness in plates of varying thicknesses changed before and after shape transformation in the range of 24–73% (p values <0.05 for all tests). Tests on a Nitinol plate of 3.0 mm increased in stiffness from 0.81 to 0.98 Nm2 (corresponding standard deviation 0.08 and 0.05) and shared a good correlation to results from numerical calculation. The stiffness of the tested fracture-fixation plates can be altered in a consistent matter that would be predicted by determining the change of the cross-sectional area moment of inertia.
KeywordsNitinol Equivalent stiffness SME
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