Development of specimen-specific finite element models of human vertebrae for the analysis of vertebroplasty

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part H Journal of Engineering in Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.33). 03/2008; 222(2):221-8. DOI: 10.1243/09544119JEIM285
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of specimen-specific finite element models of untreated and cement-augmented vertebrae by direct comparison with experimental results. Eleven single cadaveric vertebrae were imaged using micro computed tomography (microCT) and tested to failure in axial compression in the laboratory. Four of the specimens were first augmented with PMMA cement to simulate a prophylactic vertebroplasty. Specimen-specific finite element models were then generated using semi-automated methods. An initial set of three untreated models was used to determine the optimum conversion factors from the image data to the bone material properties. Using these factors, the predicted stiffness and strength were determined for the remaining specimens (four untreated, four augmented). The model predictions were compared with the corresponding experimental data. Good agreement was found with the non-augmented specimens in terms of stiffness (root-mean-square (r.m.s.) error 12.9 per cent) and strength (r.m.s. error 14.4 per cent). With the augmented specimens, the models consistently overestimated both stiffness and strength (r.m.s. errors 65 and 68 per cent). The results indicate that this method has the potential to provide accurate predictions of vertebral behaviour prior to augmentation. However, modelling the augmented bone with bulk material properties is inadequate, and more detailed modelling of the cement region is required to capture the bone-cement interactions if the models are to be used to predict the behaviour following vertebroplasty.

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    • "The concept of using finite element (FE) analysis for modeling the spine is relatively new, but in recent years an increasing number of studies have adopted the technique to evaluate specific aspects of the complex biomechanics of the spine.30,38,50,65,66 In addition, there are examples of the application of FE modeling for the assessment of the vertebroplasty procedure on osteoporotic vertebrae using PMMA cement.2,11,25,47,53,59,61,62 The aim of many of these studies was to investigate the consequences and long term complications observed following vertebroplasty, such as adjacent level vertebral fracture.58 "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to use a computational and experimental approach to evaluate, compare and predict the ability of calcium phosphate (CaP) and poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) augmentation cements to restore mechanical stability to traumatically fractured vertebrae, following a vertebroplasty procedure. Traumatic fractures (n = 17) were generated in a series of porcine vertebrae using a drop-weight method. The fractured vertebrae were imaged using μCT and tested under axial compression. Twelve of the fractured vertebrae were randomly selected to undergo a vertebroplasty procedure using either a PMMA (n = 6) or a CaP cement variation (n = 6). The specimens were imaged using μCT and re-tested. Finite element models of the fractured and augmented vertebrae were generated from the μCT data and used to compare the effect of fracture void fill with augmented specimen stiffness. Significant increases (p < 0.05) in failure load were found for both of the augmented specimen groups compared to the fractured group. The experimental and computational results indicated that neither the CaP cement nor PMMA cement could completely restore the vertebral mechanical behavior to the intact level. The effectiveness of the procedure appeared to be more influenced by the volume of fracture filled rather than by the mechanical properties of the cement itself.
    Annals of Biomedical Engineering 01/2014; 42(4). DOI:10.1007/s10439-013-0959-3 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    • "The marker on the cement fitted into the steel housing to ensure the load was applied at the desired location (Fig. 1). The stiffness was determined as the largest gradient of the load– displacement curve obtained over a 0.6 mm displacement range, based on previous studies (Wijayathunga et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: The study aim was to develop and apply an experimental technique to determine the biomechanical effect of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and calcium phosphate (CaP) cement on the stiffness and strength of augmented vertebrae following traumatic fracture. Twelve burst type fractures were generated in porcine three-vertebra segments. The specimens were randomly split into two groups (n=6), imaged using microCT and tested under axial loading. The two groups of fractured specimens underwent a vertebroplasty procedure, one group was augmented with CaP cement designed and developed at Queen's University Belfast. The other group was augmented with PMMA cement (WHW Plastics, Hull, UK). The specimens were imaged and re-tested . An intact single vertebra specimen group (n=12) was also imaged and tested under axial loading. A significant decrease (p<0.01) was found between the stiffness of the fractured and intact groups, demonstrating that the fractures generated were sufficiently severe, to adversely affect mechanical behaviour. Significant increase (p<0.01) in failure load was found for the specimen group augmented with the PMMA cement compared to the pre-augmentation group, conversely, no significant increase (p<0.01) was found in the failure load of the specimens augmented with CaP cement, this is attributed to the significantly (p<0.05) lower volume of CaP cement that was successfully injected into the fracture, compared to the PMMA cement. The effect of the percentage of cement fracture fill, cement modulus on the specimen stiffness and ultimate failure load could be investigated further by using the methods developed within this study to test a more injectable CaP cement.
    Journal of Biomechanics 12/2012; 46(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.11.036 · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    • "The material properties of both the synthetic bone and cement were considered to be homogenous and linearly elastic, with elastic moduli of 280 and 2280 MPa9, respectively. The Poisson’s ratio was assumed to be 0.3 for both materials.17 "
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    ABSTRACT: The representation of cement-augmented bone in finite element (FE) models of vertebrae following vertebroplasty remains a challenge, and the methods of the model validation are limited. The aim of this study was to create specimen-specific FE models of cement-augmented synthetic bone at the microscopic level, and to develop a new methodology to validate these models. An open cell polyurethane foam was used reduce drying effects and because of its similar structure to osteoporotic trabecular bone. Cylindrical specimens of the foam were augmented with PMMA cement. Each specimen was loaded to three levels of compression inside a micro-computed tomography (μCT) scanner and imaged both before compression and in each of the loaded states. Micro-FE models were generated from the unloaded μCT images and displacements applied to match measurements taken from the images. A morphological comparison between the FE-predicted trabecular deformations and the corresponding experimental measurements was developed to validate the accuracy of the FE model. The predicted deformation was found to be accurate (less than 12% error) in the elastic region. This method can now be used to evaluate real bone and different types of bone cements for different clinical situations.
    Annals of Biomedical Engineering 05/2012; 40(10):2168-76. DOI:10.1007/s10439-012-0587-3 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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Vithanage N Wijayathunga