Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Research Postgraduate



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9 results found

Boughton OR, Ma S, Zhao S, Arnold M, Lewis A, Hansen U, Cobb JP, Giuliani F, Abel RLet al., 2018, Measuring bone stiffness using spherical indentation., PLoS One, Vol: 13

OBJECTIVES: Bone material properties are a major determinant of bone health in older age, both in terms of fracture risk and implant fixation, in orthopaedics and dentistry. Bone is an anisotropic and hierarchical material so its measured material properties depend upon the scale of metric used. The scale used should reflect the clinical problem, whether it is fracture risk, a whole bone problem, or implant stability, at the millimetre-scale. Indentation, an engineering technique involving pressing a hard-tipped material into another material with a known force, may be able to assess bone stiffness at the millimetre-scale (the apparent elastic modulus). We aimed to investigate whether spherical-tip indentation could reliably measure the apparent elastic modulus of human cortical bone. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cortical bone samples were retrieved from the femoral necks of nineteen patients undergoing total hip replacement surgery (10 females, 9 males, mean age: 69 years). The samples underwent indentation using a 1.5 mm diameter, ruby, spherical indenter tip, with sixty indentations per patient sample, across six locations on the bone surfaces, with ten repeated indentations at each of the six locations. The samples then underwent mechanical compression testing. The repeatability of indentation measurements of elastic modulus was assessed using the co-efficient of repeatability and the correlation between the bone elastic modulus measured by indentation and compression testing was analysed by least-squares regression. RESULTS: In total, 1140 indentations in total were performed. Indentation was found to be repeatable for indentations performed at the same locations on the bone samples with a mean co-efficient of repeatability of 0.4 GigaPascals (GPa), confidence interval (C.I): 0.33-0.42 GPa. There was variation in the indentation modulus results between different locations on the bone samples (mean co-efficient of repeatability: 3.1 GPa, C.I: 2.2-3.90 GPa). No clear c


Goh EL, Chidambaram S, Ma S, 2018, Laparoscopic vs open hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with cirrhosis: A meta-analysis of the long-term survival outcomes, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol: 50, Pages: 35-42, ISSN: 1743-9191


Arnold M, Zhao S, Ma S, Giuliani F, Hansen U, Cobb JP, Abel RL, Boughton Oet al., 2017, Microindentation - a tool for measuring cortical bone stiffness? A systematic review., Bone Joint Res, Vol: 6, Pages: 542-549, ISSN: 2046-3758

OBJECTIVES: Microindentation has the potential to measure the stiffness of an individual patient's bone. Bone stiffness plays a crucial role in the press-fit stability of orthopaedic implants. Arming surgeons with accurate bone stiffness information may reduce surgical complications including periprosthetic fractures. The question addressed with this systematic review is whether microindentation can accurately measure cortical bone stiffness. METHODS: A systematic review of all English language articles using a keyword search was undertaken using Medline, Embase, PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane databases. Studies that only used nanoindentation, cancellous bone or animal tissue were excluded. RESULTS: A total of 1094 abstracts were retrieved and 32 papers were included in the analysis, 20 of which used reference point indentation, and 12 of which used traditional depth-sensing indentation. There are several factors that must be considered when using microindentation, such as tip size, depth and method of analysis. Only two studies validated microindentation against traditional mechanical testing techniques. Both studies used reference point indentation (RPI), with one showing that RPI parameters correlate well with mechanical testing, but the other suggested that they do not. CONCLUSION: Microindentation has been used in various studies to assess bone stiffness, but only two studies with conflicting results compared microindentation with traditional mechanical testing techniques. Further research, including more studies comparing microindentation with other mechanical testing methods, is needed before microindentation can be used reliably to calculate cortical bone stiffness.Cite this article: M. Arnold, S. Zhao, S. Ma, F. Giuliani, U. Hansen, J. P. Cobb, R. L. Abel, O. Boughton. Microindentation - a tool for measuring cortical bone stiffness? A systematic review. Bone Joint Res 2017;6:542-549. DOI: 10.1302/2046-3758.69.BJR-2016-0317.R2.


Boughton OR, Zhao S, Arnold M, Ma S, Cobb JP, Giuliani F, Hansen U, Abel RLet al., 2017, Measuring bone stiffness using microindentation, British Orthopaedic Research Society (BORS) 2016 Conference, Publisher: British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery, Pages: 31-31, ISSN: 2049-4416


Ma S, Goh EL, Jin A, Bhattacharya R, Boughton OR, Patel B, Karunaratne A, Vo NT, Atwood R, Cobb JP, Hansen U, Abel RLet al., 2017, Long-term effects of bisphosphonate therapy: perforations, microcracks and mechanical properties, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2045-2322


Ma S, Boughton O, Karunaratne A, Jin A, Cobb JP, Hansen U, Abel RLet al., 2016, Synchrotron imaging assessment of bone quality, Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism, Vol: 14, Pages: 150-160, ISSN: 1559-0119

Bone is a complex hierarchical structure and its principal function is to resist mechanical forces and fracture. Bone strength depends not only on the quantity of bone tissue but also on the shape and hierarchical structure. The hierarchical levels are interrelated, especially the micro-architecture, collagen and mineral components; hence analysis of their speciļ¬c roles in bone strength and stiffness is difficult. Synchrotron imaging technologies including micro-CT and small/wide angle X-Ray scattering/diffraction are becoming increasingly popular for studying bone because the images can resolve deformations in the micro-architecture and collagen-mineral matrix under in situ mechanical loading. Synchrotron cannot be directly applied in-vivo due to the high radiation dose but will allow researchers to carry out systematic multifaceted studies of bone ex-vivo. Identifying characteristics of aging and disease will underpin future efforts to generate novel devices and interventional therapies for assessing and promoting healthy aging. With our own research work as examples, this paper introduces how synchrotron imaging technology can be used with in-situ testing in bone research.


Ma S, Goh EL, Patel B, Jin A, Boughton O, Cobb J, Hansen U, Abel RLet al., 2016, Are the cracks starting to appear in bisphosphonate therapy?, British Orthopaedic Research Society (BORS) 2016 Conference, Publisher: British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery, Pages: 53-53, ISSN: 2049-4416


Yong W, Goh EL, Wang D, Ma Set al., Novel treatments for osteoarthritis: a recent update, Open Access Rheumatology : Research and Reviews, ISSN: 1179-156X


Zhao S, Arnold M, Ma S, Abel R, Cobb J, Hansen U, Boughton ORet al., Standardising compression testing for measuring the stiffness of human bone: a systematic review, Bone and Joint Research, ISSN: 2046-3758

Objectives: The ability to determine human bone stiffness is of clinical relevance in many fields, including bone quality assessment and orthopaedic prosthesis design. Stiffness can be measured using compression testing; an experimental technique commonly used to test bone specimens in vitro. This systematic review aims to determine how best to perform compression testing of human bone. Methods: A keyword search of all English language articles up until December 2017 of compression testing of bone was undertaken in Medline, Embase, PubMed and Scopus databases. Studies using bulk tissue, animal tissue, whole bone or testing techniques other than compression testing were excluded. Results: 4712 abstracts were retrieved with a total of 177 papers included in the analysis. 20 studies directly analysed the compression testing technique to improve the accuracy of the testing technique. Several influencing factors should be considered when testing bone samples in compression. These include the method of data analysis, specimen storage, specimen preparation, testing configuration and loading protocol. Conclusions: Compression testing is a widely used technique for measuring the stiffness of bone but there is a great deal of inter-study variation in experimental techniques across the literature. Based on best evidence from the literature, suggestions for bone compression testing are made in this review, though further studies are needed to help establish standardised bone testing techniques to increase the comparability and reliability of bone stiffness studies.


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