Imperial College London

DrUlrichHansen

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

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+44 (0)20 7594 7061u.hansen

 
 
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714City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

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113 results found

Tavana S, Clark JN, Hong CC, Newell N, Calder JD, Hansen Uet al., 2023, In vivo evaluation of ankle kinematics and tibiotalar joint contact strains using digital volume correlation and 3 T clinical MRI, Clinical Biomechanics, Vol: 107, ISSN: 0268-0033

BACKGROUND: In vivo evaluation of ankle joint biomechanics is key to investigating the effect of injuries on the mechanics of the joint and evaluating the effectiveness of treatments. The objectives of this study were to 1) investigate the kinematics and contact strains of the ankle joint and 2) to investigate the correlation between the tibiotalar joint contact strains and the prevalence of osteochondral lesions of the talus distribution. METHODS: Eight healthy human ankle joints were subjected to compressive load and 3 T MRIs were obtained before and after applying load. The MR images in combination with digital volume correlation enabled non-invasive measurement of ankle joint kinematics and tibiotalar joint contact strains in three dimensions. FINDINGS: The total translation of the calcaneus was smaller (0.48 ± 0.15 mm, p < 0.05) than the distal tibia (0.93 ± 0.16 mm) and the talus (1.03 ± 0.26 mm). These movements can produce compressive and shear joint contact strains (approaching 9%), which can cause development of lesions on joints. 87.5% of peak tensile, compressive, and shear strains in the tibiotalar joint took place in the medial and lateral zones. INTERPRETATION: The findings suggested that ankle bones translate independently from each other, and in some cases in opposite directions. These findings help explain the distribution of osteochondral lesions of the talus which have previously been observed to be in medial and lateral regions of the talar dome in 90% of cases. They also provide a reason for the central region of talar dome being less susceptible to developing osteochondral lesions.

Journal article

Stavri R, Tay T, Wiles CC, Di Federico E, Boughton O, Ma S, Karunaratne A, Churchwell JH, Bhattacharya R, Terrill NJ, Cobb JP, Hansen U, Abel RLet al., 2023, A Cross-Sectional Study of Bone Nanomechanics in Hip Fracture and Aging, Life, Vol: 13

Bone mechanics is well understood at every length scale except the nano-level. We aimed to investigate the relationship between bone nanoscale and tissue-level mechanics experimentally. We tested two hypotheses: (1) nanoscale strains were lower in hip fracture patients versus controls, and (2) nanoscale mineral and fibril strains were inversely correlated with aging and fracture. A cross-sectional sample of trabecular bone sections was prepared from the proximal femora of two human donor groups (aged 44–94 years): an aging non-fracture control group (n = 17) and a hip-fracture group (n = 20). Tissue, fibril, and mineral strain were measured simultaneously using synchrotron X-ray diffraction during tensile load to failure, then compared between groups using unpaired t-tests and correlated with age using Pearson’s correlation. Controls exhibited significantly greater peak tissue, mineral, and fibril strains than the hip fracture (all p < 0.05). Age was associated with a decrease in peak tissue (p = 0.099) and mineral (p = 0.004) strain, but not fibril strain (p = 0.260). Overall, hip fracture and aging were associated with changes in the nanoscale strain that are reflected at the tissue level. Data must be interpreted within the limitations of the observational cross-sectional study design, so we propose two new hypotheses on the importance of nanomechanics. (1) Hip fracture risk is increased by low tissue strain, which can be caused by low collagen or mineral strain. (2) Age-related loss of tissue strain is dependent on the loss of mineral but not fibril strain. Novel insights into bone nano- and tissue-level mechanics could provide a platform for the development of bone health diagnostics and interventions based on failure mechanisms from the nanoscale up.

Journal article

Bonicelli A, Tay T, Cobb JP, Boughton OR, Hansen U, Abel RL, Zioupos Pet al., 2023, Association between nanoscale strains and tissue level nanoindentation properties in age-related hip-fractures., J Mech Behav Biomed Mater, Vol: 138

Measurement of the properties of bone as a material can happen in various length scales in its hierarchical and composite structure. The aim of this study was to test the tissue level properties of clinically-relevant human bone samples which were collected from donors belonging to three groups: ageing donors who suffered no fractures (Control); untreated fracture patients (Fx-Untreated) and patient who experienced hip fracture despite being treated with bisphosphonates (Fx-BisTreated). Tissue level properties were assessed by (a) nanoindentation and (b) synchrotron tensile tests (STT) where strains were measured at the 'tissue', 'fibril' and 'mineral' levels by using simultaneous Wide-angle - (WAXD) and Small angle- X-ray diffraction (SAXD). The composition was analysed by thermogravimetric analysis and material level endo- and exo-thermic reactions by differential scanning calorimetry (TGA/DSC3+). Irrespective of treatment fracture donors exhibited significantly lower tissue, fibril and mineral strain at the micro and nanoscale respectively and had a higher mineral content than controls. In nanoindentation only nanohardness was significantly greater for Controls and Fx-BisTreated versus Fx-Untreated. The other nanoindentation parameters did not vary significantly across the three groups. There was a highly significant positive correlation (p < 0.001) between organic content and tissue level strain behaviour. Overall hip-fractures were associated with lower STT nanostrains and it was behaviour measured by STT which proved to be a more effective approach for predicting fracture risk because evidently it was able to demonstrate the mechanical deficit for the bone tissue of the donors who had experienced fractures.

Journal article

Behforootan S, Thorniley M, Minonzio J-G, Boughton O, Karia M, Bhattacharya R, Hansen U, Cobb J, Abel Ret al., 2022, Can guided wave ultrasound predict bone mechanical properties at the femoral neck in patients undergoing hip arthroplasty?, J Mech Behav Biomed Mater, Vol: 136

The bone quality of patients undergoing hip replacement surgery is poorly predicted by radiographs alone. With better bone quality information available to a surgeon, the operation can be performed more safely. The aim of this study was to investigate whether ultrasound signals of cortical bone at peripheral sites such as the tibia and radius can be used to predict the compressive mechanical properties of cortical bone at the femoral neck. We recruited 19 patients undergoing elective hip arthroplasty and assessed the radius and tibia of these patients with the Azalée guided wave ultrasound to estimate the porosity and thickness of the cortex. Excess bone tissues were collected from the femoral neck and the compressive mechanical properties of the cortex were characterised under a mechanical loading rig to determine stiffness, ultimate strength, and density. The correlations between the ultrasound measurements and mechanical properties were analysed using linear regression, Pearson correlation statistics, and multiple regression analysis. Cortical mechanical properties were weakly to moderately correlated with the ultrasound measurements at various sites (R2 = 0.00-0.36). The significant correlations found were not consistent across all 4 peripheral measurement sites. Additionally, weak to moderate ability of the ultrasound to predict mechanical properties at the neck of femur with multiple regression analysis was found (R2 = 0.00-0.48). Again, this was inconsistent across the different anatomical sites. Overall, the results demonstrate the need for ultrasound scans to be collected directly from clinically relevant sites such as the femoral neck due to the inconsistency of mechanical properties across various sites.

Journal article

Clark J, Tavana S, Clark B, Briggs T, Jeffers J, Hansen Uet al., 2021, High resolution three-dimensional strain measurements in human articular cartilage, Journal of The Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Vol: 124, ISSN: 1751-6161

An unresolved challenge in osteoarthritis research is characterising the localised intra-tissue mechanical response of articular cartilage. The aim of this study was to explore whether laboratory micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and digital volume correlation (DVC) permit non-destructive quantification of three-dimensional (3D) strain fields in human articular cartilage. Human articular cartilage specimens were harvested from the knee, mounted into a loading device and imaged in the unloaded and loaded states using a micro-CT scanner. Strain was measured throughout the cartilage volume using the micro-CT image data and DVC analysis. The volumetric DVC-measured strain was within 5% of the known applied strain. Variation in strain distribution between the superficial, middle and deep zones was observed, consistent with the different architecture of the material in these locations. These results indicate DVC method may be suitable for calculating strain in human articular cartilage.

Journal article

Du Y, Tavana S, Rahman T, Baxan N, Hansen UN, Newell Net al., 2021, Sensitivity of intervertebral disc finite element models to internal geometric and non-geometric parameters, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2296-4185

Finite element models are useful for investigating internal intervertebral disc (IVD) behaviours without using disruptive experimental techniques. Simplified geometries are commonly used to reduce computational time or because internal geometries cannot be acquired from CT scans. This study aimed to 1) investigate the effect of altered geometries both at endplates and the nucleus-anulus boundary on model response, and 2) to investigate model sensitivity to material and geometric inputs, and different modelling approaches (graduated or consistent fibre bundle angles and glued or cohesive interlamellar contact). Six models were developed from 9.4T MRIs of bovine IVDs. Models had two variations of endplate geometry (a simple curved profile from the centre of the disc to the periphery, and precise geometry segmented from MRIs), and three variations of NP-AF boundary (linear, curved, and segmented). Models were subjected to axial compressive loading (to 0.86mm at a strain rate of 0.1/sec) and the effect on stiffness and strain distributions, and the sensitivity to modelling approaches was investigated. The model with the most complex geometry (segmented endplates, curved NP-AF boundary) was 3.1 times stiffer than the model with the simplest geometry (curved endplates, linear NP-AF boundary). Peak strains were close to the endplates at locations of high curvature in the segmented endplate models which were not captured in the curved endplate models. Differences were also seen in sensitivity to material properties, graduated fibre angles, cohesive rather than glued interlamellar contact, and NP:AF ratios. These results show that FE modellers must take care to ensure geometries are realistic so that load is distributed and passes through IVDs accurately.

Journal article

Abel R, Behforootan S, Boughton O, Hansen U, Cobb J, Huthwaite Pet al., 2021, Ultrasound and Bone Disease: A Systematic Review, World Journal of Surgery and Surgical Research

Journal article

Tavana S, Masouros S, Baxan N, Freedman BA, Hansen UN, Newell Net al., 2021, The Effect of Degeneration on Internal Strains and the Mechanism of Failure in Human Intervertebral Discs Analyzed Using Digital Volume Correlation (DVC) and Ultra-High Field MRI, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2296-4185

The intervertebral disc (IVD) plays a main role in absorbing and transmitting loads within the spinal column. Degeneration alters the structural integrity of the IVDs and causes pain, especially in the lumbar region. The objective of this study was to investigate non-invasively the effect of degeneration on human 3D lumbar IVD strains (n = 8) and the mechanism of spinal failure (n = 10) under pure axial compression using digital volume correlation (DVC) and 9.4 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Degenerate IVDs had higher (p < 0.05) axial strains (58% higher), maximum 3D compressive strains (43% higher), and maximum 3D shear strains (41% higher), in comparison to the non-degenerate IVDs, particularly in the lateral and posterior annulus. In both degenerate and non-degenerate IVDs, peak tensile and shear strains were observed close to the endplates. Inward bulging of the inner annulus was observed in all degenerate IVDs causing an increase in the AF compressive, tensile, and shear strains at the site of inward bulge, which may predispose it to circumferential tears (delamination). The endplate is the spine's “weak link” in pure axial compression, and the mechanism of human vertebral fracture is associated with disc degeneration. In non-degenerate IVDs the locations of failure were close to the endplate centroid, whereas in degenerate IVDs they were in peripheral regions. These findings advance the state of knowledge on mechanical changes during degeneration of the IVD, which help reduce the risk of injury, optimize treatments, and improve spinal implant designs. Additionally, these new data can be used to validate computational models.

Journal article

Tavana S, Clark J, Newell N, Calder J, Hansen Uet al., 2020, In vivo deformation and strain measurements in ‎human bone using digital volume correlation ‎‎(DVC) and 3T clinical MRI, Materials, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1996-1944

Strains within bone play an important role in the remodelling process and the mechanisms of fracture. The ability to assess these strains in vivo can provide clinically relevant information regarding bone health, injury risk, and can also be used to optimise treatments. In vivo bone strains have been investigated using multiple experimental techniques, but none have quantified 3D strains using non-invasive techniques. Digital volume correlation based on clinical MRI (DVC-MRI) is a non-invasive technique that has the potential to achieve this. However, before it can be implemented, uncertainties associated with the measurements must be quantified. Here, DVC-MRI was evaluated to assess its potential to measure in vivo strains in the talus. A zero-strain test (two repeated unloaded scans) was conducted using three MRI sequences, and three DVC approaches to quantify errors and to establish optimal settings. With optimal settings, strains could be measured with a precision of 200 με and accuracy of 480 με for a spatial resolution of 7.5 mm, and a precision of 133 με and accuracy of 251 με for a spatial resolution of 10 mm. These results demonstrate that this technique has the potential to measure relevant levels of in vivo bone strain and to be used for a range of clinical applications.

Journal article

Clark J, Heyraud A, Tavana S, Al-Jabri T, Tallia F, Clark B, Blunn G, Cobb J, Hansen U, Jones J, Jeffers Jet al., 2020, Exploratory full-field mechanical analysis across the osteochondral tissue– biomaterial interface in an ovine model, Materials, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1996-1944

Osteochondral injuries are increasingly prevalent, yet success in articular cartilage regeneration remains elusive, necessitating the development of new surgical interventions and novel medical devices. As part of device development, animal models are an important milestone in illustrating functionality of novel implants. Inspection of the tissue-biomaterial system is vital to understand and predict load-sharing capacity, fixation mechanics and micromotion, none of which are directly captured by traditional post-mortem techniques. This study aims to characterize the localised mechanics of an ex vivo ovine osteochondral tissue–biomaterial system extracted following six weeks in vivo testing, utilising laboratory micro-computed tomography, in situ loading and digital volume correlation. Herein, the full-field displacement and strain distributions were visualised across the interface of the system components, including newly formed tissue. The results from this exploratory study suggest that implant micromotion in respect to the surrounding tissue could be visualised in 3D across multiple loading steps. The methodology provides a non-destructive means to assess device performance holistically, informing device design to improve osteochondral regeneration strategies.

Journal article

Clark J, Tavana S, Heyraud A, Tallia F, Jones J, Hansen U, Jeffers Jet al., 2020, Quantifying 3D strain in scaffold implants for regenerative medicine, Materials, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1996-1944

Regenerative medicine solutions require thoughtful design to elicit the intended biological response. This includes the biomechanical stimulus to generate an appropriate strain in the scaffold and surrounding tissue to drive cell lineage to the desired tissue. To provide appropriate strain on a local level, new generations of scaffolds often involve anisotropic spatially graded mechanical properties that cannot be characterised with traditional materials testing equipment. Volumetric examination is possible with three-dimensional (3D) imaging, in situ loading and digital volume correlation (DVC). Micro-CT and DVC were utilised in this study on two sizes of 3D-printed inorganic/organic hybrid scaffolds (n = 2 and n = 4) with a repeating homogenous structure intended for cartilage regeneration. Deformation was observed with a spatial resolution of under 200 µm whilst maintaining displacement random errors of 0.97 µm, strain systematic errors of 0.17% and strain random errors of 0.031%. Digital image correlation (DIC) provided an analysis of the external surfaces whilst DVC enabled localised strain concentrations to be examined throughout the full 3D volume. Strain values derived using DVC correlated well against manually calculated ground-truth measurements (R2 = 0.98, n = 8). The technique ensures the full 3D micro-mechanical environment experienced by cells is intimately considered, enabling future studies to further examine scaffold designs for regenerative medicine.

Journal article

Ma S, Goh EL, Tay T, Wiles C, Boughton O, Churchwell J, Wu Y, Karunaratne A, Bhattacharya R, Terrill N, Cobb J, Hansen U, Abel Ret al., 2020, Nanoscale mechanisms in age-related hip-fractures, Scientific Reports, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2045-2322

Nanoscale mineralized collagen fibrils may be important determinants of whole-bone mechanical properties and contribute to the risk of age-related fractures. In a cross-sectional study nano-and tissue-level mechanics were compared across trabecular sections from the proximal femora of three groups(n=10 each): ageing non-fractured donors (Controls);untreated fracture patients (Fx-Untreated); bisphosphonate-treated fracture patients (Fx-BisTreated).Collagen fibril, mineral and tissue mechanics were measured using synchrotron X-Ray diffraction,of bone sections under load. Mechanical data were compared across groups, and tissue-level data were regressed against nano. Compared to controls fracture patients exhibited significantly lower critical strain, max strain and normalized strength, with lower peak collagen and mineral strain. Bisphosphonate-treated exhibited the lowest properties. In all three groups, peak mineral strain coincided with maximum tissue strength (i.e. ultimate stress), whilst peak fibril strain occurred afterwards(i.e. higher strain). Tissue strain and strength were positively and strongly correlated with peak fibril and mineral strains. Age-related fractures were associated with lower peak fibril and mineral strain irrespective of treatment. Indicating earlier mineral disengagement and the subsequent onset of fibril sliding is one of the key mechanisms leading to fracture. Treatments for fragility should target collagen-mineral interactions to restore nano-scale strain to that of healthy bone.

Journal article

Ajdari N, Tempelaere C, Masouleh MI, Abel R, Delfosse D, Emery R, Dini D, Hansen Uet al., 2020, Hemiarthroplasties: the choice of prosthetic material causes different levels of damage in the articular cartilage, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Vol: 29, Pages: 1019-1029, ISSN: 1058-2746

Background Hemiarthroplasty has clear advantages over alternative procedures and is used in 20% of all shoulder joint replacements. Because of cartilage wear, the clinical outcome of hemiarthroplasty is unreliable and controversial. This paper suggests that the optimal choice of prosthetic material may reduce cartilage degeneration and improve the reliability of the procedure. The specific objectives were to assess 3 materials and assess how the severity of arthritis might affect the choice of prosthetic material. Methods A CoCr alloy, an AL2O3 ceramic, and a polycarbonate urethane polymer (PCU) were mechanically tested against 5 levels of human osteoarthritic cartilage (from intact to severely arthritic, n = 45). A high friction coefficient, a decrease in Young's modulus, an increase in permeability, a decrease in relaxation time, an increase in surface roughness, and a disrupted appearance of the cartilage after testing were used as measures of cartilage damage. The biomaterial that caused minimal cartilage damage was defined as superior. Results The CoCr caused the most damage. This was followed by the AL2O3 ceramic, whereas the PCU caused the least amount of damage. Although the degree of arthritis had an effect on the results, it did not change the trend that CoCr performed worst and PCU the best. Discussion and Conclusion This study indicates that ceramic implants may be a better choice than metals, and the articulating surface should be as smooth as possible. Although our results indicate that the degree of arthritis should not affect the choice of prosthetic material, this suggestion needs to be further investigated.

Journal article

Tavana S, Clark JN, Prior J, Baxan N, Masouros SD, Newell N, Hansen Uet al., 2020, Quantifying deformations and strains in human intervertebral discs using Digital Volume Correlation combined with MRI (DVC-MRI), Journal of Biomechanics, Vol: 102, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 0021-9290

Physical disruptions to intervertebral discs (IVDs) can cause mechanical changes that lead to degeneration and to low back pain which affects 75% of us in our lifetimes. Quantifying the effects of these changes on internal IVD strains may lead to better preventative strategies and treatments. Digital Volume Correlation (DVC) is a non-invasive technique that divides volumetric images into subsets, and measures strains by tracking the internal patterns within them under load. Applying DVC to MRIs may allow non-invasive strain measurements. However, DVC-MRI for strain measurements in IVDs has not been used previously. The purpose of this study was to quantify the strain and deformation errors associated with DVC-MRI for measurements in human IVDs.Eight human lumbar IVDs were MRI scanned (9.4T) for a ‘zero-strain study’ (multiple unloaded scans to quantify noise within the system), and a loaded study (2mm axial compression). Three DVC methodologies: Fast-Fourier transform (FFT), direct correlation (DC), and a combination of both FFT and DC approaches were compared with subset sizes ranging from 8 to 88 voxels to establish the optimal DVC methodology and settings which were then used in the loaded study.FFT+DC was the optimal method and a subset size of 56 voxels (2520 micrometers) was found to be a good compromise between errors and spatial resolution. Displacement and strain errors did not exceed 28 µm and 3000 microstrain, respectively.These findings demonstrate that DVC-MRI can quantify internal strains within IVDs non-invasively and accurately. The method has unique potential for assessing IVD strains within patients.

Journal article

Clark J, Garbout A, Rodrigues Mendes Ferreira S, Javaheri B, Pitsillides A, Rankin S, Jeffers J, Hansen Uet al., 2020, Propagation phase-contrast micro-computed tomography allows laboratory-based three-dimensional imaging of articular cartilage down to the cellular level, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, Vol: 28, Pages: 102-111, ISSN: 1063-4584

ObjectiveHigh-resolution non-invasive three-dimensional (3D) imaging of chondrocytes in articular cartilage remains elusive. The aim of this study was to explore whether laboratory micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) permits imaging cells within articular cartilage.DesignBovine osteochondral plugs were prepared four ways: in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or 70% ethanol (EtOH), both with or without phosphotungstic acid (PTA) staining. Specimens were imaged with micro-CT following two protocols: 1) absorption contrast (AC) imaging 2) propagation phase-contrast (PPC) imaging. All samples were scanned in liquid. The contrast to noise ratio (C/N) of cellular features quantified scan quality and were statistically analysed. Cellular features resolved by micro-CT were validated by standard histology.ResultsThe highest quality images were obtained using propagation phase-contrast imaging and PTA-staining in 70% EtOH. Cellular features were also visualised when stained in PBS and unstained in EtOH. Under all conditions PPC resulted in greater contrast than AC (p < 0.0001 to p = 0.038). Simultaneous imaging of cartilage and subchondral bone did not impede image quality. Corresponding features were located in both histology and micro-CT and followed the same distribution with similar density and roundness values.ConclusionsThree-dimensional visualisation and quantification of the chondrocyte population within articular cartilage can be achieved across a field of view of several millimetres using laboratory-based micro-CT. The ability to map chondrocytes in 3D opens possibilities for research in fields from skeletal development through to medical device design and treatment of cartilage degeneration.

Journal article

Boughton O, Ma S, Cai X, Yan L, Peralta L, Laugier P, Marrow J, Giuliani F, Hansen U, Abel R, Grimal Q, Cobb Jet al., 2019, Computed tomography porosity and spherical indentation for determining cortical bone millimetre-scale mechanical properties, Scientific Reports, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2045-2322

The cortex of the femoral neck is a key structural element of the human body, yet there is not a reliable metric for predicting the mechanical properties of the bone in this critical region. This study explored the use of a range of non-destructive metrics to measure femoral neck cortical bone stiffness at the millimetre length scale. A range of testing methods and imaging techniques were assessed for their ability to measure or predict the mechanical properties of cortical bone samples obtained from the femoral neck of hip replacement patients. Techniques that can potentially be applied in vivo to measure bone stiffness, including computed tomography (CT), bulk wave ultrasound (BWUS) and indentation, were compared against in vitro techniques, including compression testing, density measurements and resonant ultrasound spectroscopy. Porosity, as measured by micro-CT, correlated with femoral neck cortical bone’s elastic modulus and ultimate compressive strength at the millimetre length scale. Large-tip spherical indentation also correlated with bone mechanical properties at this length scale but to a lesser extent. As the elastic mechanical properties of cortical bone correlated with porosity, we would recommend further development of technologies that can safely measure cortical porosity in vivo.Introduction

Journal article

Kedgley AE, Saw TH, Segal NA, Hansen UN, Bull AMJ, Masouros SDet al., 2019, Predicting meniscal tear stability across knee-joint flexion using finite-element analysis, Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, Vol: 27, Pages: 206-214, ISSN: 0942-2056

Purpose: To analyse the stress distribution through longitudinal and radial meniscal tears in three tear locations in weight-bearing conditions and use it to ascertain the impact of tear location and type on the potential for healing of meniscal tears. Methods: Subject-specific finite-element models of a healthy knee under static loading at 0°, 20°, and 30° knee flexion were developed from unloaded magnetic resonance images and weight-bearing, contrast-enhanced computed tomography images. Simulations were then run after introducing tears into the anterior, posterior, and midsections of the menisci. Results: Absolute differences between the displacements of anterior and posterior segments modelled in the intact state and those quantified from in vivo weight-bearing images were less than 0.5 mm. There were tear-location-dependent differences between hoop stress distributions along the inner and outer surfaces of longitudinal tears; the longitudinal tear surfaces were compressed together to the greatest degree in the lateral meniscus and were most consistently in compression on the midsections of both menisci. Radial tears resulted in an increase in stress at the tear apex and in a consistent small compression of the tear surfaces throughout the flexion range when in the posterior segment of the lateral meniscus. Conclusions: Both the type of meniscal tear and its location within the meniscus influenced the stresses on the tear surfaces under weight bearing. Results agree with clinical observations and suggest reasons for the inverse correlation between longitudinal tear length and healing, the inferior healing ability of medial compared with lateral menisci, and the superior healing ability of radial tears in the posterior segment of the lateral meniscus compared with other radial tears. This study has shown that meniscal tear location in addition to type likely plays a crucial role in dictating the success of non-operative treatment of the menisci. T

Journal article

Junaid S, Gregory T, Fetherston S, Emery R, Amis AA, Hansen Uet al., 2018, Cadaveric study validating in vitro monitoring techniques to measure the failure mechanism of glenoid implants against clinical CT, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Vol: 36, Pages: 2524-2532, ISSN: 0736-0266

Definite glenoid implant loosening is identifiable on radiographs, however, identifying early loosening still eludes clinicians. Methods to monitor glenoid loosening in vitro have not been validated to clinical imaging. This study investigates the correlation between in vitro measures and CT images. Ten cadaveric scapulae were implanted with a pegged glenoid implant and fatigue tested to failure. Each scapulae were cyclically loaded superiorly and CT scanned every 20,000 cycles until failure to monitor progressive radiolucent lines. Superior and inferior rim displacements were also measured. A finite element (FE) model of one scapula was used to analyze the interfacial stresses at the implant/cement and cement/bone interfaces. All ten implants failed inferiorly at the implant-cement interface, two also failed at the cement-bone interface inferiorly, and three showed superior failure. Failure occurred at of 80,966 ± 53,729 (mean ± SD) cycles. CT scans confirmed failure of the fixation, and in most cases, was observed either before or with visual failure. Significant correlations were found between inferior rim displacement, vertical head displacement and failure of the glenoid implant. The FE model showed peak tensile stresses inferiorly and high compressive stresses superiorly, corroborating experimental findings. In vitro monitoring methods correlated to failure progression in clinical CT images possibly indicating its capacity to detect loosening earlier for earlier clinical intervention if needed. Its use in detecting failure non-destructively for implant development and testing is also valuable. The study highlights failure at the implant-cement interface and early signs of failure are identifiable in CT images. © 2018 The Authors. Journal of Orthopaedic Research® Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the Orthopaedic Research Society. J Orthop Res 9999:XX-XX, 2018.

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Zhao S, Arnold M, Ma S, Abel R, Cobb J, Hansen U, Boughton ORet al., 2018, Standardising compression testing for measuring the stiffness of human bone: a systematic review, Bone and Joint Research, Vol: 7, Pages: 524-538, 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.

Journal article

Boughton OR, Ma S, Zhao S, Arnold M, Lewis A, Hansen U, Cobb J, Giuliani F, Abel Ret al., 2018, Measuring bone stiffness using spherical indentation, PLoS ONE, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1932-6203

ObjectivesBone 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 methodsCortical 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.ResultsIn 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 cle

Journal article

Jin A, Cobb JP, Hansen U, Bhattacharya R, Reinhard C, Vo N, Atwood R, Li J, Abel RLet al., 2017, The effect of long term bisphosphonate therapy on trabecular bone strength and microcrack density, Bone & Joint Research, Vol: 6, Pages: 602-609, ISSN: 2046-3758

ObjectivesBisphosphonates (BP) are the first-line treatment for preventing fragility fractures. However, concern regarding the efficacy is growing because bisphosphonate is associated with over-suppression of remodelling and accumulation of microcracks. While DEXA scanning may show a gain in bone density the impact of this class of drug on mechanical properties remains unclear. We therefore sought to quantify the mechanical strength of bone treated with BP (oral alendronate for this study), and correlate this with the microarchitecture and density of microcracks in comparison with untreated controls. MethodsTrabecular bone from hip-fracture patients treated with BP (n=10) was compared to naïve fractured (n=14) and non-fractured controls (n=6). Trabecular cores were synchrotron and micro-CT scanned for microstructural analysis including quantification of bone volume fraction, micro-architecture and microcracks, then mechanically tested in compression. ResultsBP bone was 28% lower in strength than untreated hip-fracture bone and 48% lower in strength than and non-fracture control bone (4.6 vs 6.4 vs 8.9 MPa). BP treated bone had 24% more microcracks than naïve fractured bone and 51% more than non-fractured control (8.12 vs 6.55 vs 5.25 /cm2). BP and naïve fracture bone exhibited similar trabecular microarchitecture, with significantly lower bone volume fraction and connectivity than non-fractured controls. ConclusionsBP therapy had no detectable mechanical benefit. Instead its use was associated with substantially reduced bone strength. This low strength was probably due to the greater accumulation of microcracks and a lack of any discernible improvement in bone volume or microarchitecture. This preliminary study suggests that the clinical impact of BP induced microcrack accumulation may be substantial and long term.

Journal article

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

Objectives: Microindentation hasthe potential to measuretheelasticity(stiffness)of individualpatients’bone. Bone elasticity plays a crucial role in the press-fit stability of orthopaedic implants.Arming surgeons with accuratebone elasticityinformation may reduce surgical complicationsincluding peri-prosthetic fractures. The question we address with this systematicreview is whether microindentation can accurately measure cortical bone stiffness.Methods: A systematic review of all English language articles using a keyword search was undertaken in Medline, Embase, PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane databases. Studies thatonly used nanoindentation, cancellous boneoranimal tissue were excluded.Results: 1094abstracts were retrieved and 32papers were included in the analysis, 20 of which used reference point indentation and 12of which used traditional depth sensing indentation.There are a number of factors thatmust be taken into account when using microindentation such as tip size, depth and method of analysis.Only two studies validated microindentation againsttraditional mechanical testing techniques. Bothstudies used reference point indentation(RPI) with one showing that RPI parameters correlate well with mechanical testing, butanother suggestedthatthey do not. Conclusion: Microindentation has been used in various studies to assess bone elasticity but only two studies with conflicting results compared microindentation to traditional mechanical testing techniques. Further research,includingmore studies comparingmicroindentationto other mechanical testing methodsare needed,before microindentation can be reliably used to calculate cortical bone stiffness.

Journal article

Ridzwan M, Sukjamsri C, Pal B, van Arkel R, Bell A, Khanna M, Baskaradas A, Abel R, Boughton O, Cobb J, Hansen Uet al., 2017, Femoral fracture type can be predicted from femoral structure: a finite element study validated by digital volume correlation experiments, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Vol: 36, Pages: 993-1001, ISSN: 1554-527X

Proximal femoral fractures can be categorized into two main types: Neck and intertrochanteric fractures accounting for 53% and 43% of all proximal femoral fractures, respectively. The possibility to predict the type of fracture a specific patient is predisposed to would allow drug and exercise therapies, hip protector design, and prophylactic surgery to be better targeted for this patient rendering fracture preventing strategies more effective. This study hypothesized that the type of fracture is closely related to the patient-specific femoral structure and predictable by finite element (FE) methods. Fourteen femora were DXA scanned, CT scanned, and mechanically tested to fracture. FE-predicted fracture patterns were compared to experimentally observed fracture patterns. Measurements of strain patterns to explain neck and intertrochanteric fracture patterns were performed using a digital volume correlation (DVC) technique and compared to FE-predicted strains and experimentally observed fracture patterns. Although loaded identically, the femora exhibited different fracture types (six neck and eight intertrochanteric fractures). CT-based FE models matched the experimental observations well (86%) demonstrating that the fracture type can be predicted. DVC-measured and FE-predicted strains showed obvious consistency. Neither DXA-based BMD nor any morphologic characteristics such as neck diameter, femoral neck length, or neck shaft angle were associated with fracture type. In conclusion, patient-specific femoral structure correlates with fracture type and FE analyses were able to predict these fracture types. Also, the demonstration of FE and DVC as metrics of the strains in bones may be of substantial clinical value, informing treatment strategies and device selection and design.

Journal article

Junaid S, Sanghavi S, Anglin C, Bull A, Emery R, Amis AA, Hansen Uet al., 2017, Treatment of the Fixation Surface Improves Glenoid Prosthesis Longevity in vitro., Journal of Biomechanics, Vol: 61, Pages: 81-87, ISSN: 0021-9290

Many commercial cemented glenoid components claim superior fixation designs and increased survivability. However, both research and clinical studies have shown conflicting results and it is unclear whether these design variations do improve loosening rates. Part of the difficulty in investigating fixation failure is the inability to directly observe the fixation interface, a problem addressed in this study by using a novel experimental set-up. Cyclic loading-displacement tests were carried out on 60 custom-made glenoid prostheses implanted into a bone substitute. Design parameters investigated included treatment of the fixation surface of the component resulting in different levels of back-surface roughness, flat-back versus curved-back, keel versus peg and more versus less conforming implants. Visually-observed failure and ASTM-recommended rim-displacements were recorded throughout testing to investigate fixation failure and if rim displacement is an appropriate measure of loosening. Roughening the implant back (Ra>3µm) improved resistance to failure (P<0.005) by an order of magnitude with the rough and smooth groups failing at 8712±5584 cycles (mean±SD) and 1080±1197 cycles, respectively. All other design parameters had no statistically significant effect on the number of cycles to failure. All implants failed inferiorly and 95% (57/60) at the implant/cement interface. Rim-displacement correlated with visually observed failure. The most important effect was that of roughening the implant, which strengthened the polyethylene-cement interface. Rim-displacement can be used as an indicator of fixation failure, but the sensitivity was insufficient to capture subtle effects. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Basic Science Study, Biomechanical Analysis.

Journal article

Geraldes D, Hansen U, Jeffers J, Amis Aet al., 2017, The stability of small pegs for cementless implant fixation, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Vol: 35, Pages: 2765-2772, ISSN: 1554-527X

Most glenoid implants rely on large centrally located fixation features to avoid perforation of the glenoid vault in its peripheral regions. Upon revision of such components there may not be enough bone left for the reinsertion of an anatomical prosthesis. Multiple press-fit small pegs would allow for less bone resection and strong anchoring in the stiffer and denser peripheral subchondral bone. This study assessed the fixation characteristics, measured as the push-in (Pin) and pull-out (Pout) forces, and spring-back, measured as the elastic displacement immediately after insertion, for five different small press-fitted peg configurations manufactured out of UHMWPE cylinders (5 mm diameter and length). A total of 16 specimens for each configuration were tested in two types of solid bone substitute: Hard (40 PCF, 0.64 g/cm3, worst-case scenario of Pin) and soft (15 PCF, 0.24 g/cm3, worst-case scenario of spring-back and Pout). Two different diametric interference-fits were studied. Geometries with lower stiffness fins (large length to width aspect ratio) were the best performing designs in terms of primary fixation stability. They required the lowest force to fully seat, meaning they are less damaging to the bone during implantation, while providing the highest Pout/Pin ratio, indicating that when implanted they provide the strongest anchoring for the glenoid component. It is highlighted that drilling of chamfered holes could minimize spring-back displacements. These findings are relevant for the design of implants press-fitted pegs because primary fixation has been shown to be an important factor in achieving osseointegration and longevity of secondary fixation.

Journal article

Geraldes DM, Hansen U, Amis AA, 2017, Parametric analysis of glenoid implant design and fixation type, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Vol: 35, Pages: 775-784, ISSN: 1554-527X

Common post-operative problems in shoulder arthroplasty such as glenoid loosening and joint instability may be reduced by improvements in glenoid design, shape, material choice and fixation method. A framework for parametric analysis of different implant fixation configurations was developed in order to efficiently sift through potential glenoid component designs and investigate the influence of design factors such as fixation type, component thickness and peg position, number, diameter and length in a multi-factorial design investigation. The proposed method allowed for simultaneous comparison of the performance of 344 different parametric variations of 10 different reference geometries with large central fixation features or small peripheral pegs, undergoing four different worst-case scenario loading conditions, averaging 64.7 seconds per model. The impact of design parameters were assessed for different factors responsible for post-operative problems in shoulder arthroplasty, such as bone volume preservation, stresses in the implant, central displacement or fixation stability, and the worst performing geometries all relied on conventional central fixation. Of the remaining geometries, four peripheral fixation configurations produced von Mises stresses comfortably below the material's yield strength. We show that the developed method allows for simple, direct, rapid and repeatable comparison of different design features, material choices or fixation methods by analyzing how they influence the bone-implant mechanical environment. The proposed method can provide valuable insight in implant design optimization by screening through multiple potential design modifications at an early design evaluation stage and highlighting the best performing combinations according to the failure mechanism to mitigate. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Journal article

Ma S, Goh EL, Jin A, Bhattacharya R, Boughton O, Patel B, Karunaratne A, Vo NT, Atwood R, Cobb J, Hansen U, Abel Ret al., 2017, Long-term effects of bisphosphonate therapy: perforations, microcracks and mechanical properties, Scientific Reports, Vol: 7, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2045-2322

Osteoporosis is characterised by trabecular bone loss resulting from increased osteoclast activation and unbalanced coupling between resorption and formation, which induces a thinning of trabeculae and trabecular perforations. Bisphosphonates are the frontline therapy for osteoporosis, which act by reducing bone remodelling, and are thought to prevent perforations and maintain microstructure. However, bisphosphonates may oversuppress remodelling resulting in accumulation of microcracks. This paper aims to investigate the effect of bisphosphonate treatment on microstructure and mechanical strength. Assessment of microdamage within the trabecular bone core was performed using synchrotron X-ray micro-CT linked to image analysis software. Bone from bisphosphonate-treated fracture patients exhibited fewer perforations but more numerous and larger microcracks than both fracture and non-fracture controls. Furthermore, bisphosphonate-treated bone demonstrated reduced tensile strength and Young’s Modulus. These findings suggest that bisphosphonate therapy is effective at reducing perforations but may also cause microcrack accumulation, leading to a loss of microstructural integrity and consequently, reduced mechanical strength.

Journal article

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

Conference paper

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

Conference paper

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.

Journal article

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