Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Implants: A Better Fit Through Mathematics

30.04.2012
Individuals with implants may soon be able to feel the benefit of basic scientific knowledge in their own bodies.

This is one of the findings of a translational research project conducted by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. The project demonstrated how 3D models and special mathematical methods could be used to improve the design and integration of implants in the body on a patient-specific basis.

Data was gathered from computer and magnetic resonance tomography and used to generate 3D models specifically for shoulder joints and their replacements. The data was analysed in a procedure known as the finite element method, and possible individual optimisations were calculated. The project exemplifies the acute benefit of research findings from the Translational Research Programme, which ended at the close of the first quarter of 2012.

Basic research forms the foundation for future applications, as illustrated by programmes like the Translational Research Programme. This programme, which the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) conducted on behalf of the country´s Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), ran until early 2012 and served to accelerate the transfer of basic knowledge into practical applications: Applications which, first and foremost, improve the quality of people´s lives, in addition to creating economic value. Take project L526, for example.

SHOULDER TO SHOULDER: MATHEMATICS & MEDICINE This project brought together basic scientific knowledge from the areas of mathematics, medicine and computer science with the aim of optimising replacement shoulder joints individually (patient-specific). Headed by Dr. Karl Entacher from Salzburg University of Applied Sciences and Dr. Peter Schuller-Götzburg from the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, the project initially computed human shoulder joint models and then used them as the basis for the analytical simulation of varying load conditions.

The team commenced by using imaging techniques to create the computer models. To this effect, computer tomography was used to build up images of human shoulder joints on a layer-by-layer basis. As Dr. Entacher explains: "Modern tomography techniques allow us to create images of an entire shoulder joint layer-by-layer, and the layer thicknesses that we can achieve today make excellent resolution possible. We were able to use this image data to create computer-generated 3D models of each patient´s individual shoulder joint, forming the basis for our subsequent analysis."

FINITE FINDINGS
This subsequent analysis was based on a mathematical process called the finite element (FE) method. With this method, the objects to be analysed are depicted in small - but finite - elements. Their behaviour can then be computed numerically and simulated, taking into account variables such as material properties and load, as well as the limits of movement. In the process, it is possible to model the most varied conditions that the joint might face. Speaking about these conditions, Dr. Entacher comments: "Our aim was to simulate the implant at different positions and different angles in the body, as well as to simulate the anatomical make-up of different, individual patients." In fact, the model was so sophisticated that different types of tissue, such as soft tissue or different bone sections, could be selected. It was also possible to create virtual sections to move different parts of the bone or the implant to any given position. All in all, this enabled the scientists to gather valuable data for the patient-specific optimisation of shoulder and even tooth implants. This could provide future patients with important information on the positioning, the type or the performance of their implant before they have an operation.

Commenting on the personal significance of the project and the end of the Translational Research Programme, Dr. Entacher says: "As a basic researcher, it is very satisfying to see how working with physicians and engineers can turn our findings into specific applications that can help people. In fact, I feel it provides a more personal perspective on personal development. In addition to this personal experience, the Translational Research Programme also makes a significant contribution to innovation culture in Austria. A contribution that will be missing in the future."

Image and text available from Monday, April 30 2012, 09.00 CET at:
http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/public_relations/press/pv201204-en.html
Scientific Contact:
Dr. Karl Entacher
Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
Information Technology & System Management
5412 Salzburg, Austria
E karl.entacher@fh-salzburg.ac.at
M +43 / (0)664 / 750-39319
Austrian Science Fund FWF:
Mag. Stefan Bernhardt
Haus der Forschung
Sensengasse 1
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 67 40 - 8111
E stefan.bernhardt@fwf.ac.at
W http://www.fwf.ac.at
Copy Editing & Distribution:
PR&D - Public Relations for Research & Education Mariannengasse 8
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 70 44
E contact@prd.at
W http://www.prd.at

Margot Pechtigam | PR&D
Further information:
http://www.fwf.ac.at

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht How do muscle and tendon connections last a lifetime? Study in the fruit fly Drosophila
04.04.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht The Internet of Things: TU Graz researchers increase the dependability of smart systems
18.02.2019 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>