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Automated Three-dimensional Finite Element Modelling Of Bone: A New Method.

J. Keyak, J. M. Meagher, H. Skinner, C. Mote
Published 1990 · Engineering, Medicine

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Three-dimensional finite element stress analysis of bone is a key to understanding bone remodelling, assessing fracture risk, and designing prostheses; however, the cost and complexity of predicting the stress field in bone with accuracy has precluded the routine use of this method. A new, automated method of generating patient-specific three-dimensional finite element models of bone is presented--it uses digital computed tomographic (CT) scan data to drive the geometry of the bone and to estimate its inhomogeneous material properties. Cubic elements of a user-specified size are automatically defined and then individually assigned the CT scan-derived material properties. The method is demonstrated by predicting the stress, stain, and strain energy in a human proximal femur in vivo. Three-dimensional loading conditions corresponding to the stance phase of gait were taken from the literature and applied to the model. Maximum principal compressive stresses of 8-23 MPa were computed for the medial femoral neck. Automated generation of additional finite element models with larger numbers of elements was used to verify convergence in strain energy.



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