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Title: Cutting of cortical bone tissue : analysis of deformation and fracture process
Author: Li, Simin
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2013
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Cortical bone tissue - one of the most intriguing materials found in nature - demonstrate some fascinating behaviours that have attracted great attention of many researchers from all over the world. In contrast to engineering materials, bone has its unique characters: it is a material that has both sufficient stiffness and toughness to provide physical support and protection to internal organs and yet adaptively balanced for its weight and functional requirements. Its structure and mechanical properties are of great importance to the physiological functioning of the body. Still, our understanding on the mechanical deformation processes of cortical bone tissue is rather limited. Penetration into a bone tissue is an intrinsic part of many clinical procedures, such as orthopaedic surgery, bone implant and repair operations. The success of bone-cutting surgery depends largely on precision of the operation and the extent of damage it causes to the surrounding tissues. The anisotropic behaviour of cortical bone acts as a distinctive protective mechanism and increases the difficulty during cutting process. A comprehensive understanding of deformation and damage mechanisms during the cutting process is necessary for improving the operational accuracy and postoperative recovery of patients. However, the current literature on experimental results provides limited information about processes in the vicinity of the cutting tool-bone interaction zone; while; numerical models cannot fully describe the material anisotropy and the effect of damage mechanisms of cortical bone tissue. In addition, a conventional finite-element scheme faces numerical challenges due to large deformation and highly localised distortion in the process zone. This PhD project is aimed at bridging the gap in current lack of understanding on cutting-induced deformation and fracture processes in the cortical bone tissue through experimental and numerical approaches. A number of experimental studies were accomplished to characterise the mechanical behaviour of bovine cortical bone tissue and to analyse deformation and damage mechanisms associated with the cutting process II along different bone axes in four anatomic cortices, namely, anterior, posterior, medial and lateral. These experiments included: (1) a Vickers hardness test to provide initial assessments on deformation and damage processes in the cortical bone tissue under a concentrated compressive load; (2) uniaxial tension and compression tests, performed to understand the effect of orientation and local variability of microstructure constituents on the macroscopic material properties of cortical bone; (3) fracture toughness tests, aimed at elucidating the anisotropic character of fracture toughness of cortical bone and its various fracture toughness mechanisms in relation to different orientations; (4) penetration tests, conducted to evaluate and validate mechanisms involved in bone cutting as well as orientation associated anisotropic deformation and damage processes at various different cortex positions. Information obtained in these experimental studies was used to assist the development of advanced finite-element models: (1) the effective homogenised XFEM models developed in conjunction with three-point bending test to represent a macroscopically, anisotropic elasticplastic fracture behaviour of cortical bone tissue; (2) three microstructured XFEM models to further investigate the effect of the randomly distributed microstructural constituents on the local fracture process and the variability of fracture toughness of cortical bone; (3) a novel finite-element modelling approach encompassing both conventional and SPH elements, incorporating anisotropic elastic-plastic material properties and progressive damage criteria to simulate large deformation and damage processes of cortical bone under penetration. The established models can adequately and accurately reflect large deformations and damage processes during the penetration in bone cutting. The results of this study made valuable contributions to our existing understanding of the mechanics of cortical bone tissue and most importantly to the understanding of its mechanical behaviours during the cutting process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cortical bone tissue ; Cutting ; Anisotropy ; Variability ; Microstructured model ; Crack propagation ; XFEM ; SPH