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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

The Biomechanical Properties of Steel, Titanium & Cobalt Chrome Spinal Rods

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 11/01/2009
End Date 06/30/2010
Funding Source Alex Hills Engineering Research Award
Funding Amount 2,000
Community Partner Andres Munk, Orthopedic Surgeon, Macomb Orthopedic Surgeons
Related Course
Last Updated 01/11/2010 11:14PM
Keywords Spinal rod, biomechanical properties, titanium, stainless steel

People

Faculty
  Anthony Paris

Student Researchers
  Tessa Kara

Abstract

The objective of this study is to provide a qualitative and quantitative comparison of the biomechanical behavior of stainless steel, titanium, and cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy spinal fixation assemblies. Displacement controlled static compression tests will be performed in vitro. Resulting data will be analyzed and published for review.

Spinal rods are used to treat instability or deformation of the spine in medical patients. They are used as a treatment to scoliosis, fractures, disc disease, or other spinal trauma. The purpose of the spinal rod is twofold; to reduce or stop unwanted curvature in the spinal column, thus enabling the targeted vertebrae to fuse (Foundation) Fusion and successful completion of solid bone mass may take up to a year. During this time the spinal rod must withstand daily destructive forces, including impact vibrations and bending moments. The rod will eventually fail if solid fusion in the vertebrae is not achieved. Little is known about the relative biomechanical properties of SS to Ti to Co-Cr-Mo. This study will compare load vs. displacement analysis for SS, Ti, and Co-Cr-Mo when used as internal supports for the spinal column.

The constructs, or rods, will be subjected to displacement controlled static compression tests. The displacements and loads will be recorded and compared. The rods will be fixed to a Lumbar UHMWPE Block using pedicle screws. The assemblies will be applied using the methods and tools used by surgeons. The stiffness, yield load, and maximum load for each alloy will be compared.

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