Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory
Since May 1997, the biomechanics laboratory has provided a distinctive interface for researchers with engineering and medical backgrounds, involved in an array of different research programs. The facilities within the unit are: 1) a mechanical testing laboratory; 2) computational facilities for mechanical analysis; 3) a roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis (RSA) laboratory that can measure the stability of artificial joints implanted into the body; 4) a biomaterials laboratory that enables production of ceramics for use as bone substitute materials.
The general aim of the unit is to use the techniques of engineering and physical sciences to improve the repair and regeneration of tissues in the skeletal system. The RSA laboratory assesses the behavior of joint implants in the body. Failure of implants is most commonly due to aseptic loosening, which involves problems with the bone cement used to fix these implants in bone. Studies are being carried out to understand how the cement can best be applied for optimum effect, and also on improving the additives to cement that enable it to be observed during x-ray examination.
Traditional implants replace function of diseased tissue, but modern trends are to repair and restore function. We are developing injectable bone substitute materials, that have a similar composition to bone, and which can integrate with normal tissue. We are also studying how these materials can stimulate repair of tissue, through optimizing the chemical composition or the mechanical properties of the materials. In addition, we are investigating how the function of tissues can be modified non-invasively, either through mechanical load or by heating the tissues with focused ultrasound.
Orthopedic Research Lab
We are a surgical lab using small orthopedic implants in animals to model basic biologic principles to better understand the anabolic and catabolic processes of bone formation and remodelling. In a bone chamber model we are able to alter the differentiation pathway of the adult mesenchymal stemcell during normal fracture healing and turn the cells into cartilage if mechanic ally loaded or bone if not. We simulate the mechanical conditions in a computer model to determine the boundary mechanical conditions for bone and cartilage tissue to form. We can verify the results in the in vivo model and simultaneously study the expression of mechanosensitive genes and proteins during the early process of fracture healing.
Also by using pharmacological sub stances we can manipulate bone healing and remodeling. By using bisphosphonates, we can inhibit bone resorption and by using morphogenic proteins like BMP and PTH we can increase bone formation thereby balancing the anabolic and katabolic processes. New anabolic drugs are being tried.
The main focus is to understand and manipulate basic bone and cartilage healing. The goal, however, is to combine and bridge preclinical and clinical research and to find swift ways to translate preclinical results into clinical practice. Clinical studies are made from the experimental results and an organisation for larger clinical studies is being initiated.
The research in the Division of Solid Mechanics is quite broad but still focussed on constitutive mechanics, large strain plasticity, nonlinear numerical methods, static and dynamic stability, plate theory, biomechanics and experimental techniques. Applications and collaborations are found e.g. in paper and vehicle industry as well as in medical treatment.
For the biomechanics research of the division the focus is on tissue mechanics, prosthesis fixation and locomotion. The ambition is to interpret medical and biological observations, express them in mechanical terms and design biomechanical models. It is also important to express the results from numerical simulations in a way that the results can improve e.g. surgical procedures
The division of Solid Mechanics is responsible for compulsory and optional courses in solid mechanics and engineering mechanics within the Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Environmental Engineering master's programmes.
The scientific computation group in CBML provides the center with computational expertise. Its main focus is currently on developing and investigating computational tools for simulating biomechanical systems consisting of rigid and elastic systems connected by joints and contact. Special emphasis is taken to adapt the methods to clinical in- and output data. The current focus lies on knee joint and knee prosthesis simulation.