Medical implants are essential products for saving lives and improving life quality. Nowadays, the demand for implants, especially biocompatible and personalized ones, is increasing rapidly to deal with factors like congenital malformations, aging, and increasing prevalence of cancer. To facilitate their clinical applications, better understanding of their biomechanical properties is important. This thesis focuses on tubular and mandibular implants, and aims at studying stiffness properties and assessing stress distributions.
Tubular implants with coupled helical-coil structure, which can be potentially used as tubular organ constructs, were manufactured by winding polycaprolactone filaments. Tensile and bending stiffnesses were evaluated through mechanical testing and finite element simulations. By increasing the number of helical coils, we could realize a new type of tubular implants which could be used in applications like trachea and urethra stents. Stiffness properties of such implants were investigated analytically, due to the geometrical periodicity. Through computational homogenization, the discrete mesh structures were converted to equivalent continua, whose structural properties were studied using composite beam theories. The numerical and analytical models developed can serve as tools for the mechanical design of implants.
A patient-specific mandibular implant, additively manufactured of titanium alloys, failed shortly after surgery. The failure was studied using a numerical approach. Finite element models were generated from the 3D bone reconstructed from computed tomography data and implants processed by computational homogenization. The failure location and that of the numerically predicted largest von Mises stress agree well, which confirms the feasibility of using finite element simulations to quantitatively analyze implant failures and assist in implants design.
For implant failures caused by local bone loss, analytical studies were also carried out to assess the stress distribution around screw-loaded holes in bones. The mandibular bone was treated as a laminate of which elastic properties were obtained by classical laminate theory. The stress profiles were predicted using a complex stress function method. The loading direction was found to have a minor influence on the stress distributions, while the friction coefficient has non-negligible influence. The stress state can serve as starting point to predict bone remodeling and be compared with criteria for bone strength.
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. , 61 p.
2015-11-06, Sal 80101, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Gamstedt, E. Kristofer