Lean On Me: How Devices and Bones Share the Load
For the bones in the human skeleton to stay healthy, they need to be stimulated by mechanical forces. When bones are not loaded enough, bone tissue is removed by cells, and the bone is weakened. On the other hand, too much force can lead to bone fractures. Therefore, the concepts of load sharing and the distribution of stress are important considerations in the design and use of load-bearing orthopedic devices. In this lecture I will show how computer simulations can be used to quantify mechanical loading and load sharing in spinal fusion cages and an intramedullary nail used for ankle fusion.
Dana Carpenter is an Associate Professor in the CU Denver Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dana received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and he received his MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He then worked for five years as a postdoc and research engineer in the Radiolology Department at the University of California, San Francisco. After joining CU Denver in 2011, Dana has worked to combine medical imaging and biomechanical simulations to determine the mechanical effects of exercise, diseases, and implanted devices on the human skeleton.