Development of specimen-specific finite element models of human vertebrae for the analysis of vertebroplasty
ABSTRACT 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.
- SourceAvailable from: Fraser Buchanan
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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). "
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 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A number of papers have recently emphasised the importance of verification, validation and sensitivity testing in computational studies within the field of biomechanical engineering. This review examines the methods used in the development of spinal finite element models with a view to a standardised framework of verification, validation and sensitivity analysis. The scope of this paper is restricted to models of the vertebra, the intervertebral disc and short spinal segments. In the case of single vertebral models, specimen-specific methods have been developed, which allow direct validation against experimental tests. The focus of intervertebral disc modelling has been on representing the complex material properties and further sensitivity testing is required to fully understand the relative roles of these input parameters. In order to construct complex multi-component short segment models, many geometric and material parameters are required, some of which are yet to be fully characterised. There are also major challenges in terms of short segment model validation. Throughout the review, areas of good practise are highlighted and recommendations for future development are proposed, taking a step towards more robust spinal modelling procedures, promoting acceptance from the wider biomechanics community.Medical Engineering & Physics 01/2009; 30(10):1287-304. DOI:10.1016/j.medengphy.2008.09.006 · 1.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Classical finite element (FE) models can estimate vertebral stiffness and strength with much lower computational costs than muFE analyses, but the accuracy of these models rely on calibrated material properties that are not necessarily consistent with experimental results. In general, trabecular bone material properties are scaled with computer tomography (CT) density alone, without accounting for local variations in anisotropy or micro-architecture. Moreover, the cortex is often omitted or assigned with a constant thickness. In this work, voxel FE models, as well as surface-based homogenized FE models with topologically-conformed geometry and assigned with experimentally validated properties for bone, were developed from a series of 12 specimens tested up to failure. The effects of changing from a digital mesh to a smooth mesh, including a cortex of variable thickness and/or including heterogeneous trabecular fabric, were investigated. In each case, FE predictions of vertebral stiffness and strength were compared with the experimental gold-standard, and changes in elastic strain energy density and damage distributions were reported. The results showed that a smooth mesh effectively removed zones of artificial damage locations occurring in the ragged edges of the digital mesh. Adding an explicit cortex stiffened and strengthened the models, unloading the trabecular centrum while increasing the correlations to experimental stiffness and strength. Further addition of heterogeneous fabric improved the correlations to stiffness (R(2)=0.72) and strength (R(2)=0.89) and moved the damage locations closer to the vertebral endplates, following the local trabecular orientations. It was furthermore demonstrated that predictions of vertebral stiffness and strength of homogenized FE models with topologically-conformed cortical shell and heterogeneous trabecular fabric correlated well with experimental measurements, after assigning purely experimental data for bone without further calibration of material laws at the macroscale of bone. This study successfully demonstrated the limitations of current classical FE methods and provided valuable insights into the damage mechanisms of vertebral bodies.Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 11/2009; 131(11):111003. DOI:10.1115/1.3212097 · 1.75 Impact Factor
Vithanage N Wijayathunga