A novel -type titanium alloy, Ti–29Nb–13Ta–4.6Zr (TNTZ), has been developed as a candidate for biomedical applications. TNTZ exhibits non-toxicity and a low Young’s modulus close to that of bone (10–30 GPa). Such a low Young’s modulus of this alloy is achieved by comprising a single metastable phase. Greater mechanical biocompatibility, which implies higher mechanical strength and hardness while maintaining a low Young’s modulus, has been aimed for TNTZ. Therefore, strengthening by grain refinement and increasing dislocation density is expected to provide TNTZ high mechanical strength while keeping a low Young’s modulus because they keep the original phase. In this case, high-pressure torsion (HPT) processing is one of the effective ways to obtain these properties simultaneously in TNTZ. Thus, in this study, the effect of HPT processing on the microstructure and mechanical hardness of TNTZ was systematically investigated at rotation numbers ( ) of 1 to 20 under a pressure of around 1.25 GPa at room temperature.
Recently, we proposed a hierarchical model for the elastic properties of mineralized lobster cuticle using (i) ab initio calculations for the chitin properties and (ii) hierarchical homogenization performed in a bottom-up order through all length scales. It has been found that the cuticle possesses nearly extremal, excellent mechanical properties in terms of stiffness that strongly depend on the overall mineral content and the specific microstructure of the mineral-protein matrix. In this study, we investigated how the overall cuticle properties changed when there are significant variations in the properties of the constituents (chitin, amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC), proteins), and the volume fractions of key structural elements such as chitin-protein fibers. It was found that the cuticle performance is very robust with respect to variations in the elastic properties of chitin and fiber proteins at a lower hierarchy level. At higher structural levels, variations of design parameters such as the volume fraction of the chitin-protein fibers have a significant influence on the cuticle performance. Furthermore, we observed that among the possible variations in the cuticle ingredients and volume fractions, the experimental data reflect an optimal use of the structural variations regarding the best possible performance for a given composition due to the smart hierarchical organization of the cuticle design.
Abdominal organs are the most vulnerable body parts during vehicle trauma, leading to high mortality rate due to acute injuries of liver, kidney, spleen and other abdominal organs. Accurate mechanical properties and FE models of these organs are required for simulating the traumas, so that better designing of the accident environment can be done and the organs can be protected from severe damage. Also from biomedical aspect, accurate mechanical properties of organs are required for better designing of surgical tools and virtual surgery environments. In this study porcine liver, kidney and spleen tissues are studied in vitro and hyper-elastic material laws are provided for each. 12 porcine kidneys are used to perform 40 elongation tests on renal capsule and 60 compression tests on renal cortex, 5 porcine livers are used to perform 45 static compression tests on liver parenchyma and 5 porcine spleens are used to carry out 20 compression tests. All the tests are carried out at a static speed of 0.05mm/s. A comparative analysis of all the results is done with the literature and though the results are of same order of magnitude, a slight dissonance is observed for the renal capsule. It is also observed that the spleen is the least stiff organ in the abdomen whereas the kidney is the stiffest. The results of this study would be essential to develop the FE models of liver, kidney and spleen which can be further used for impact biomechanical and biomedical applications.
The aim of this work is to develop a new hyperelastic and anisotropic material mimicking histological and mechanical features of healthy and aneurysmal arterial tissues. The material is constituted by rhombic periodic lattices of hyperelastic fibres embedded into a soft elastomer membrane. To fit bi-axial experimental data obtained from the literature, with normal or pathologic human abdominal aortic tissues, the microstructure of the periodic lattices (fibre length, angle between fibres) together with the mechanical behaviour of the fibres (fibre tension-elongation curve) were optimised by using theoretical results arising from a multi-scale homogenisation process. It is shown that (i) a material constituted by only one periodic lattice of fibres is clearly not sufficient to describe all the experimental data set, (ii) a quantitative agreement between measurements and theoretical predictions is obtained by using a material with two fibre lattices, (iii) the optimised microstructures and mechanical properties of the fibrous lattices are strongly different for the abdominal healthy and aneurysmal arterial tissues, (iv) the anisotropic mechanical behaviour of the optimised material is described by only five parameters and (v) the optimal angles between fibres in the case of the healthy aorta are consistent with histological data. Several technical solutions of fibres can be considered as relevant candidates: this is illustrated in the particular cases of straight and wavy fibres.
Bacterial cellulose-polyacrylamide (BC-PAAm) composite hydrogels are prepared by synthesis of PAAm networks inside the BC matrices. The behavior of these gels and of the ionic ones obtained via partial hydrolysis of BC-PAAm gels is studied under swelling and compressive deformation conditions. The dependences of the hydrogels' properties on the BC matrix preparation conditions, gel synthesis conditions and the BC content in the hydrogel compositions are studied. Two types of BC gel pellicle are used in the hydrogel synthesis, namely matrix pellicles subjected to pre-pressing (samples of series A) and those not subjected to any mechanical actions before synthesis (series B samples) containing about 99% water. The effect of anisotropic swelling of type A hydrogels is detected. The type B specimens swell isotropically. Both types of hydrogel exhibit substantial anisotropy of their mechanical properties, apparent in different shapes of compression stress-strain curves of samples cut out from the gel plates in various directions. Composite hydrogels show superb mechanical properties, including compression strength up to 10 MPa and the ability to withstand long-term cyclic stresses (up to 2000-6000 cycles) without substantial reduction of mechanical properties.
Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cements have a long and successful history of use for implant fixation, but suffer from a relatively low fracture and fatigue resistance which can result in failure of the cement and the implant. Fiber or particulate reinforcement has been used to improve mechanical properties, but typically at the expense of the pre-cured cement viscosity, which is critical for successful integration with peri-implant bone tissue. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of zirconia fiber reinforcement on the fatigue life of acrylic bone cements while maintaining a relatively low pre-cured cement viscosity. Sintered straight or variable diameter fibers (VDFs) were added to a PMMA cement and tested in fully reversed uniaxial fatigue until failure. The mean fatigue life of cements reinforced with 15 and 20 vol% straight zirconia fibers was significantly increased by approximately 40-fold, on average, compared to a commercial benchmark (Osteobond) and cements reinforced with 0-10 vol% straight zirconia fibers. The mean fatigue life of a cement reinforced with 10 vol% VDFs was an order of magnitude greater than the same cement reinforced with 10 vol% straight fibers. The time-dependent viscosity of cements reinforced with 10 and 15 vol% straight fibers was comparable to the commercial benchmark during curing. Therefore, the addition of relatively small amounts of straight and variable diameter zirconia fibers was able to substantially improve the fatigue resistance of acrylic bone cement while exhibiting similar handling characteristics compared to current commercial products.
Tricalcium phosphate and synthesized fluorapatite powder were mixed in order to elaborate biphasic composites. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, differential thermal analysis, infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and by an analysis using (31)P nuclear magnetic resonance. The sintering of tricalcium phosphate with different percentages of fluorapatite (13.26 wt%; 19.9 wt%; 33.16 wt% and 40 wt%) indicates the evolution of the microstructure, densification and mechanical properties. The Brazilian test was used to measure the rupture strength of the sintered biphasic composites. The mechanical properties increase with the sintering temperature and with the addition of fluorapatite additive. The mechanical resistance of beta tricalcium phosphate-33.16 wt% fluorapatite composites reached its maximum value (13.7 MPa) at 1400 ( composite function)C, whereas the optimum densification was obtained at 1350 ( composite function)C (93.2%). Above 1400 ( composite function)C, the densification and mechanical properties were hindered by the tricalcium phosphate allotropic transformation and the formation of both intragranular porosity and cracks. The (31)P magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of composites as sintered at various temperatures or with different percentages of fluorapatite reveals the presence of tetrahedral P sites.
It is generally accepted that calcium phosphate (CaP) is one of the most important biomaterials in implant coating applications mainly because of its excellent bioactivity. However, its relatively poor mechanical properties limits its application. This entails that a better understanding of the mechanical properties of a CaP coating is a must especially its behavior and the mechanisms involved when subjected to stresses which eventually lead to failure. The mechanical properties of the coating may be evaluated in terms of its adhesion strength. In this study, a radio frequency-magnetron (RF-MS) sputtering technique was used to deposit CaP thin films on 316L stainless steel (SS). The coatings were subjected to series of microscratch tests, taking careful note of its behavior as the load is applied. The adhesion behavior of the coatings showed varying responses. It was revealed that several coating process-related factors such as thickness, post-heat treatment and deposition parameters, to name a few, affect its scratching behavior. Scratch testing-related factors (i.e. loading rate, scratch speed, scratch load, etc.) were also shown to influence the mechanisms involved in the coating adhesion failure. Evaluation of the load-displacement graph combined with optical inspection of the scratch confirmed that several modes of failure occurred during the scratching process. These include trackside cracking, tensile cracking, radial cracking, buckling, delamination and combinations of one or more modes.
This paper proposes the implementation of fractional anisotropy and axonal fiber orientation from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of 12 healthy patients into an existing human FE head model to develop a more realistic brain model with advanced constitutive laws. Further, the brain behavior was validated in terms of brain strain against experimental data published by Hardy et al. (2001, 2007) and for brain pressure against Nahum et al. (1977) experimental impacts. A reasonable agreement was observed between the simulation and experimental data. Results showed the feasibility of integrating axonal direction information into FE analysis and established the context of computation of axonal elongation in case of head trauma.
Accumulation of microdamage during fatigue can lead to increased fracture susceptibility in bone. Current techniques for imaging microdamage in bone are inherently destructive and two-dimensional. Therefore, the objective of this study was to image the accumulation of fatigue microdamage in cortical bone using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) with a barium sulfate (BaSO(4)) contrast agent. Two symmetric notches were machined on the tensile surface of bovine cortical bone beams in order to generate damage ahead of the stress concentrations during four-point bending fatigue. Specimens were loaded to a specified number of cycles or until one notch fractured, such that the other notch exhibited the accumulation of microdamage prior to fracture. Microdamage ahead of the notch was stained in vitro by precipitation of BaSO(4) and imaged using micro-CT. Reconstructed images showed a distinct region of bright voxels around the notch tip or along propagating cracks due to the presence of BaSO(4), which was verified by backscattered electron imaging and energy dispersive spectroscopy. The shape of the stained region ahead of the notch tip was consistent with principal strain contours calculated by finite element analysis. The relative volume of the stained region was correlated with the number of loading cycles by non-linear regression using a power-law. This study demonstrates new methods for the non-destructive and three-dimensional detection of fatigue microdamage accumulation in cortical bone in vitro, which may be useful to gain further understanding into the role of microdamage in bone fragility.
This study describes the synthesis of Al(2)O(3)/SiC/ZrO(2) functionally graded material (FGM) in bio-implants (artificial joints) by electrophoretic deposition (EPD). A suitable suspension that was based on 2-butanone was applied for the EPD of Al(2)O(3)/SiC/ZrO(2), and a pressureless sintering process was applied as a presintering. Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) was used to densify the deposit, with beneficial mechanical properties after 2 h at 1800 °C in Ar atmosphere. The maximum hardness in the outer layer (90 vol.% Al(2)O(3)+10 vol.% SiC) and maximum fracture toughness in the core layer (75 vol.% Al(2)O(3)+10 vol.% SiC + 15 vol.% ZrO(2)) composite were 20.8±0.3 GPa and 8±0.1 MPa m(1/2), respectively. The results, when compared with results from Al(2)O(3)/ZrO(2) FGM, showed that SiC increased the compressive stresses in the outer layers, while the inner layers were under a residual tensile stress.
The modulation of the mechanical properties of monolithic fibers by plasticizing and crosslinking enables the dynamic control of the nano-tensile forces, thereby obtaining optimized Young's modulus and ultimate strain for specialized application in the treatment of periodontal disease. In this work, drug-loaded crosslinked and plasticized alginate fibers (cl-PAFs) were prepared by extrusion-gelification with the aim of designing oradurable biomaterials for placement within the periodontal pocket and provide prolonged drug delivery. Mechanical properties of drug-free cl-PAFs were determined using a nanoTensile™ 5000 instrument and subsequently optimized versus the quantity of plasticizer and crosslinker as formulation variables employing a Box-Behnken experimental design strategy. Mechanically optimized fibers obtained (Young's Modulus=314.04MPa, yield stress=5.80MPa, ultimate strength=10.05MPa, ultimate strain=0.29MPa and toughness=2.39Jcm(-3)) were loaded with the model drugs ciprofloxacin and diclofenac both individually and simultaneously. The Young's modulus of cl-PAFs loaded with either drug individually exhibited a steep decline. However, in the case of cl-PAFs loaded with both drugs simultaneously, Young's modulus regained the original value which may be attributed to the cohesive energy density, porosity and space filling. The effect of various formulation variables on the drug entrapment and release characteristics of the alginate fibers was elucidated at pH 4.0 and pH 6.8. Furthermore, a previously established atomistic computational model based on energy refinements was employed to mechanistically describe the fiber performance. The effect of varying the plasticizer and crosslinking ion concentration on Young's modulus and ultimate strain of the linear elastic polymer matrix and the performance of the ciprofloxacin and/or diclofenac loaded optimized fiber was elucidated and conceptualized using molecular mechanics energy relationships (MMER) via the geometrical conformation and positioning of the molecular architectures.
Despite dental implantation being a great success, one of the key issues facing it is a mismatch of mechanical properties between engineered and native biomaterials, which makes osseointegration and bone remodeling problematical. Functionally graded material (FGM) has been proposed as a potential upgrade to some conventional implant materials such as titanium for selection in prosthetic dentistry. The idea of an FGM dental implant is that the property would vary in a certain pattern to match the biomechanical characteristics required at different regions in the hosting bone. However, matching the properties does not necessarily guarantee the best osseointegration and bone remodeling. Little existing research has been reported on developing an optimal design of an FGM dental implant for promoting long-term success. Based upon remodeling results, metaheuristic algorithms such as the genetic algorithms (GAs) and simulated annealing (SA) have been adopted to develop a multi-objective optimal design for FGM implantation design. The results are compared with those in literature.
Wear resistant TiB-TiN reinforced Ti6Al4V alloy composite coatings were deposited on Ti substrate using laser based additive manufacturing technology. Ti6Al4V alloy powder premixed with 5wt% and 15wt% of boron nitride (BN) powder was used to synthesize TiB-TiN reinforcements in situ during laser deposition. Influences of laser power, scanning speed and concentration of BN on the microstructure, mechanical, in vitro tribological and biological properties of the coatings were investigated. Microstructural analysis of the composite coatings showed that the high temperature generated due to laser interaction with Ti6Al4V alloy and BN results in situ formation of TiB and TiN phases. With increasing BN concentration, from 5wt% to 15wt%, the Young's modulus of the composite coatings, measured by nanoindentation, increased from 170±5GPa to 204±14GPa. In vitro tribological tests showed significant increase in the wear resistance with increasing BN concentration. Under identical test conditions TiB-TiN composite coatings with 15wt% BN exhibited an order of magnitude less wear rate than CoCrMo alloy-a common material for articulating surfaces of orthopedic implants. Average top surface hardness of the composite coatings increased from 543±21HV to 877±75HV with increase in the BN concentration. In vitro biocompatibility and flow cytometry study showed that these composite coatings were non-toxic, exhibit similar cell-materials interactions and biocompatibility as that of commercially pure titanium (CP-Ti) samples. In summary, excellent in vitro wear resistance, high stiffness and suitable biocompatibility make these composite coatings as a potential material for load-bearing articulating surfaces towards orthopaedic implants.
Biomechanical tests on bones are frequently accomplished in anatomically fixed tissues. The effects of ethanol or formaldehyde based fixation in bone material properties are subject to controversial discussions, regarding their appropriateness and usability to answer clinical questioning or biomechanical issues. We hypothesized that ethanol and formaldehyde irreversibly change bone material properties, and that this effect is mainly related to the bone's organic matrix.
Fixation related alterations in material properties were investigated in six fresh and two macerated human coxal bones by means of three-dimensional laser vibrometry based modal analysis. Ethanol or formaldehyde fixation were performed in one macerated and three unfixed specimens each. Changes in specimen weight and modal frequencies related to fixation, rinsing and drying were obtained. Modal assurance criterion (MAC) values were recorded to determine altered bone anisotropy.
Due to fixation, modal frequencies were irreversibly altered in unfixed specimens, indicating weight loss in ethanol and structural changes in formaldehyde fixed specimens. In the macerated and inorganic controls, fixation related weight and modal frequency changes were reversible by rinsing. In the unfixed specimens, bone anisotropy was irreversibly altered by both modes of fixation, whereas the fixation related changes in bony anisotropy were reversible in the macerated controls after rinsing.
Anatomical fixation that includes ethanol or formaldehyde irreversibly alters material properties of unfixed bones and impacts bone anisotropic properties, caused by changes in the organic matrix. In macerated bones that exclusively consisted of inorganic mineral salts, the observed effects on material properties and anisotropy were reversible. Conclusively, anatomical fixation on basis of ethanol or formaldehyde cannot be recommended, if material characteristics close to the vital state are of interest. Modal analysis is a potential method to gain insight into material properties, revealing the influence of the organic bone matrix on coxal bone elasticity.
This report presents physical characterization and cell culture test of porous alumina-hydroxyapatite (HA) composites fabricated through protein foaming-consolidation technique. Alumina and HA powders were mixed with yolk and starch at an adjusted ratio to make slurry. The resulting slip was poured into cylindrical shaped molds and followed by foaming and consolidation via 180 °C drying for 1 h. The obtained green bodies were burned at 600 °C for 1 h, followed by sintering at temperatures of 1200-1550 °C for 2 h. Porous alumina-HA bodies with 26-77 vol.% shrinkage, 46%-52% porosity and 0.1-6.4 MPa compressive strength were obtained. The compressive strength of bodies increased with the increasing sintering temperatures. The addition of commercial HA in the body was found to increase the compressive strength, whereas the case is reverse for sol-gel derived HA. Biocompatibility study of porous alumina-HA was performed in a stirred tank bioreactor using culture of Vero cells. A good compatibility of the cells to the porous microcarriers was observed as the cells attached and grew at the surface of microcarriers at 8-120 cultured hours. The cell growth on porous alumina microcarrier was 0.015 h(-1) and increased to 0.019 h(-1) for 0.3 w/w HA-to-alumina mass ratio and decreased again to 0.017 h(-1) for 1.0 w/w ratio.
Experimental investigations for anatomic variation in the magnitude and anisotropy of elastic constants in human femoral cortical bone tissue have typically focused on a limited number of convenient sites near the mid-diaphysis. However, the proximal and distal ends of the diaphysis are more clinically relevant to common orthopaedic procedures and interesting mechanobiology. Therefore, the objective of this study was to measure anatomic variation in the elastic anisotropy and inhomogeneity of human cortical bone tissue along the entire length (15%-85% of the total femur length), and around the periphery (anterior, medial, posterior and lateral quadrants) of the femoral diaphysis, using ultrasonic wave propagation in the three orthogonal specimen axes. The elastic symmetry of tissue in the distal and extreme proximal portions of the diaphysis (15%-45% and 75%-85% of the total femur length, respectively) was, at most, orthotropic. In contrast, the elastic symmetry of tissue near the mid- and proximal mid-diaphysis (50%-70% of the total femur length) was reasonably approximated as transversely isotropic. The magnitudes of elastic constants generally reached maxima near the mid- and proximal mid-diaphysis in the lateral and medial quadrants, and decreased toward the epiphyses, as well as the posterior and anterior quadrants. The elastic anisotropy ratio in the longitudinal and radial anatomic axes showed the opposite trends. These variations were significantly correlated with the apparent tissue density, as expected. In summary, the human femur exhibited statistically significant anatomic variation in elastic anisotropy, which may have important implications for whole bone numerical models and mechanobiology.
A composite material model for skull, taking into account damage is implemented in the Strasbourg University finite element head model (SUFEHM) in order to enhance the existing skull mechanical constitutive law. The skull behavior is validated in terms of fracture patterns and contact forces by reconstructing 15 experimental cases. The new SUFEHM skull model is capable of reproducing skull fracture precisely. The composite skull model is validated not only for maximum forces, but also for lateral impact against actual force time curves from PMHS for the first time. Skull strain energy is found to be a pertinent parameter to predict the skull fracture and based on statistical (binary logistical regression) analysis it is observed that 50% risk of skull fracture occurred at skull strain energy of 544.0mJ.
Mineralized turkey leg tendon (MTLT) is an attractive model of mineralized collagen fibers, which are also present in bone. Its longitudinal structure is advantageous for the relative simplicity in modeling, yet its anisotropic elastic properties remain unknown. The aim of this study was to quantify the extent of elastic anisotropy of mineralized collagen fibers by using nano- and microindentation to probe a number on MTLT samples in two orthogonal directions. The large dataset allowed the quantification of the extent of anisotropy, depending on the final indentation depth and on the hydration state of the sample.
Anisotropy was observed to increase with the sample re-hydration process. Artifacts of indentation in a transverse direction to the main axis of the mineralized tendons in re-hydrated condition were observed. The indentation size effect, that is, the increase of the measured elastic properties with decreasing sampling volume, reported previously on variety of materials, was also observed in MTLT. Indentation work was quantified for both directions of indentation in dried and re-hydrated conditions.
As hypothesized, MTLT showed a higher extent of anisotropy compared to cortical and trabecular bone, presumably due to the alignment of mineralized collagen fibers in this tissue.
Secondary interventions after endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms are frequent because stent-graft (SG) related complications may occur (mainly endoleak and SG thrombosis). Complications have been related to insufficient SG flexibility, especially when devices are deployed in tortuous arteries. Little is known on the relationship between SG design and flexibility. Therefore, the aim of this study was to simulate numerically the bending of two manufactured SGs (Aorfix--Lombard Medical (A) and Zenith--Cook Medical Europe (Z)) using finite element analysis (FEA). Global SG behavior was studied by assessing stent spacing variation and cross-section deformation. Four criteria were defined to compare flexibility of SGs: maximal luminal reduction rate, torque required for bending, maximal membrane strains in graft and maximal Von Mises stress in stents. For angulation greater than 60°, values of these four criteria were lower with A-SG, compared to Z-SG. In conclusion, A-SG was more flexible than Z-SG according to FEA. A-SG may decrease the incidence of complications in the setting of tortuous aorto-iliac aneurysms. Our numerical model could be used to assess flexibility of further manufactured as well as newly designed SGs.
Glaucoma, a chronic eye disease, is quoted to be a second leading cause of blindness with 66.8 million people suspected to be victimised by the same in year 2000 (Morrison, 2003), and is caused due to an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Goldmann Applanation tonometer (GAT), a gold standard (Organization, 2001), suffers from inefficacies to measure intra-ocular pressure (IOP) independent of the biomechanical properties of an eye. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to study the importance of wide range of corneal parameters and to propose a multiparametric correction equation for GAT based on a numerically simulated comprehensive finite element model (Dohadwala et al., 1998; Morrison, 2003; Organization, 2001). Towards this end, with the help of numerical model, the parameters considered in correction equation proposed elsewhere (Elsheikh et al., 2011) were extended to include combined influence of central corneal thickness (CCT), central anterior curvature (R), peripheral corneal thickness (PCT), corneal asphericity (Pa), age, measured IOP itself and, was separately studied for role played by corneal support orientation (θ°) in this aspect. Findings indicate that for a wide range of parameters considered, while increased age is related with gain in corneal stiffness, the maximum (average) individual effects of variations in PCT, Pa, CCT, age and θ° on IOPG were estimated at 0.25mmHg/100µ of PCT, 0.073mmHg/0.1 of Pa, 1.9mmHg/100µ of CCT, 24.3%/decade relative of IOPT and 0.95mmHg/5° increase in θ°. The multiparametric correction equation has been modified accordingly. The GAT correction equation can consider the combined effect of PCT, Pa, CCT, and age on IOPG. Separately the non-linear effect of θ° on IOPG cannot be ignored for reasons of precision.
Freeze-dried collagen scaffolds reinforced with hydroxyapatite (HA) are of clinical interest for synthetic bone graft substitutes and tissue engineering scaffolds, but a systematic evaluation of the effects of the HA reinforcement weight fraction and morphology on the mechanical properties is lacking. Therefore, freeze-dried collagen scaffolds were reinforced with either HA whiskers or an equiaxed HA powder at 1:1, 1:2, or 1:4 collagen:HA by weight (which corresponded to approximately 28, 44, and 61 vol% HA, respectively) to investigate the effects of the HA reinforcement weight fraction and morphology on the architecture and compressive mechanical properties. All scaffolds exhibited a highly elongated linear pore structure containing 90%-96% porosity, which decreased with increased HA content, and a pore width of ∼50 μm. HA reinforcement resulted in up to a ten-fold increase in compressive modulus at high reinforcement levels (∼200 kPa at 1:4 collagen:HA by weight) compared to scaffolds with no reinforcement or low reinforcement levels (∼20 kPa at 1:1 collagen:HA by weight). This effect could not be explained by the concomitant decrease in the scaffold porosity (from 95% to 90%) with HA reinforcement, which could only account for up to a two-fold increase in compressive modulus. At moderate reinforcement levels (1:2 collagen:HA by weight), HA whisker reinforced scaffolds exhibited a nearly four-fold greater modulus compared to the equiaxed HA powder, while there were no differences with the HA reinforcement morphology at high and low reinforcement levels. Therefore, the elongated morphology of HA whiskers enabled a reinforcing effect at a lower level of reinforcement compared to a conventional, equiaxed HA powder.
Although stenting is the most commonly performed procedure for the treatment of coronary atherosclerotic lesions, in-stent restenosis (ISR) remains one of the most serious clinical complications. An important stimulus to ISR is the altered hemodynamics with abnormal shear stresses on endothelial cells generated by the stent presence. Computational fluid dynamics is a valid tool for studying the local hemodynamics of stented vessels, allowing the calculation of the wall shear stress (WSS), which is otherwise not directly possible to be measured in vivo. However, in these numerical simulations the arterial wall and the stent are considered rigid and fixed, an assumption that may influence the WSS and flow patterns. Therefore, the aim of this work is to perform fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analyses of a stented coronary artery in order to understand the effects of the wall compliance on the hemodynamic quantities. Two different materials are considered for the stent: cobalt-chromium (CoCr) and poly-l-lactide (PLLA). The results of the FSI and the corresponding rigid-wall models are compared, focusing in particular on the analysis of the WSS distribution. Results showed similar trends in terms of instantaneous and time-averaged WSS between compliant and rigid-wall cases. In particular, the difference of percentage area exposed to TAWSS lower than 0.4Pa between the CoCr FSI and the rigid-wall cases was about 1.5% while between the PLLA cases 1.0%. The results indicate that, for idealized models of a stented coronary artery, the rigid-wall assumption for fluid dynamic simulations appears adequate when the aim of the study is the analysis of near-wall quantities like WSS.
The viscoelastic behavior of articular cartilage changes with progression of osteoarthritis. The objective of this study is to quantify this progression and to propose a viscoelastic model of articular cartilage taking into account the degree of osteoarthritis that which be easily used in predictive numerical simulations of the hip joint behavior. To quantify the effects of osteoarthritis (OA) on the viscoelastic behavior of human articular cartilage, samples were obtained from the hip arthroplasty due to femoral neck fracture (normal cartilage) or advanced coxarthrosis (OA cartilage). Experimental data were obtained from instrumented indentation tests on unfrozen femoral cartilage collected and studied in the day following the prosthetic hip surgery pose. By using an inverse method coupled with a numerical modeling (FEM) of all experimental data of the indentation tests, the viscoelastic properties of the two states were quantified. Mean values of viscoelastic parameters were significantly lower for OA cartilage than normal (instantaneous and relaxed tension moduli, viscosity coefficient). Based on the results and in the thermodynamic framework, a constitutive viscoelastic model taking into account the degree of osteoarthritis as an internal variable of damage is proposed. The isotropic phenomenological viscoelastic model including degradation provides an accurate prediction of the mechanical response of the normal human cartilage and OA cartilage with advanced coxarthrosis but should be further validated for intermediate degrees of osteoarthritis.
For the development of meniscal substitutes and related finite element models it is necessary to know the mechanical properties of the meniscus and its attachments. Measurement errors can falsify the determination of material properties. Therefore the impact of metrological and geometrical measurement errors on the determination of the linear modulus of human meniscal attachments was investigated. After total differentiation the error of the force (+0.10%), attachment deformation (-0.16%), and fibre length (+0.11%) measurements almost annulled each other. The error of the cross-sectional area determination ranged from 0.00%, gathered from histological slides, up to 14.22%, obtained from digital calliper measurements. Hence, total measurement error ranged from +0.05% to -14.17%, predominantly affected by the cross-sectional area determination error. Further investigations revealed that the entire cross-section was significantly larger compared to the load-carrying collagen fibre area. This overestimation of the cross-section area led to an underestimation of the linear modulus of up to -36.7%. Additionally, the cross-sections of the collagen-fibre area of the attachments significantly varied up to +90% along their longitudinal axis. The resultant ratio between the collagen fibre area and the histologically determined cross-sectional area ranged between 0.61 for the posterolateral and 0.69 for the posteromedial ligament. The linear modulus of human meniscal attachments can be significantly underestimated due to the use of different methods and locations of cross-sectional area determination. Hence, it is suggested to assess the load carrying collagen fibre area histologically, or, alternatively, to use the correction factors proposed in this study.
Relationships between mineralization, collagen orientation and indentation modulus were investigated in bone structural units from the mid-shaft of human femora using a site-matched design. Mineral mass fraction, collagen fibril angle and indentation moduli were measured in registered anatomical sites using backscattered electron imaging, polarized light microscopy and nano-indentation, respectively. Theoretical indentation moduli were calculated with a homogenization model from the quantified mineral densities and mean collagen fibril orientations. The average indentation moduli predicted based on local mineralization and collagen fibers arrangement were not significantly different from the average measured experimentally with nanoindentation (p=0.9). Surprisingly, no substantial correlation of the measured indentation moduli with tissue mineralization and/or collagen fiber arrangement was found. Nano-porosity, micro-damage, collagen cross-links, non-collagenous proteins or other parameters affect the indentation measurements. Additional testing/simulation methods need to be considered to properly understand the variability of indentation moduli, beyond the mineralization and collagen arrangement in bone structural units.