Preliminary Numerical Study on Electrical Stimulation at Alloplastic Reconstruction Plates of the Mandible
It is well known that external biophysical stimulation via application of electric currents enhances bone healing and restores its structural strength. However, it has not yet been applied to treat large bone defects. We conducted a first study on application of electrical stimulation for intrinsic activation of bone healing processes in critical size defects of the facial skeleton. Basing on CT images of a patient with a critical size defect, a volume conductor model has been set up in which the stimulation electrodes are integrated. The problem can be modelled as a stationary current problem. It is solved by the finite element method. Different stimulation sites are studied with respect to the desired therapeutic range of the electric field strength. In future works, the model shall be further refined. The long-range aim is a patient-specific simulation within the therapy planning.
This work was partly supported by the German Science Foundation (DFG) in the scope of the project DFG RI 814/24-1 and by a grant of the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
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