Finite Element Analysis of the Fracture Healing Process
|Bearbeitung:||Prof. Dr.-Ing. U. Nackenhorst, M.Sc. Alexander Sapotnick|
|Förderung durch:||This project is funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation) NA-330/8-1|
The success of the healing process of bone fractures depends strongly on the mechanical environment. A combination of biological and mechanical regulation allows for recovery of strength and integrity of the prefracture bone, without the formation of scar tissue, as seen in other wound healing mechanisms. However, there are still cases where delayed healing or non-unions are observed. Also diseases of the musculoskeletal system, like osteoporosis, impede this process. The process of fracture healing is still not completely understood and is therefore a field of active research. Especially the stimulation of cells by the mechanical environment, called mechanosensation or -transduction, is still not well understood. This project aims for a numerical analysis of bone repair within the Finite Element framework. The biochemically regulated healing process was developed by Geris et al.(2008) and is described by a set of twelve equations of the advection-diffusion-reaction type. A solution is obtained by making use of the time-discontinuous Galerkin method as a time integration scheme, which is largely insensitive to high Courant numbers. Thus relieving the computation of the need for time step adaption. The necessary stabilization is introduced by the Finite Increment Calculus method developed by O~nate et al.(2006). This algorithm will be combined with a mechanical model, which will provide a mechanical stimulus for the cell activities.