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Validation Of Subject-specific Automated P-FE Analysis Of The Proximal Femur.

N. Trabelsi, Z. Yosibash, C. Milgrom
Published 2009 · Engineering, Medicine

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BACKGROUND The use of subject-specific finite element (FE) models in clinical practice requires a high level of automation and validation. In Yosibash et al. [2007a. Reliable simulations of the human proximal femur by high-order finite element analysis validated by experimental observations. J. Biomechanics 40, 3688-3699] a novel method for generating high-order finite element (p-FE) models from CT scans was presented and validated by experimental observations on two fresh frozen femurs (harvested from a 30 year old male and 21 year old female). Herein, we substantiate the validation process by enlarging the experimental database (54 year old female femur), improving the method and examine its robustness under different CT scan conditions. APPROACH A fresh frozen femur of a 54 year old female was scanned under two different environments: in air and immersed in water (dry and wet CT). Thereafter, the proximal femur was quasi-statically loaded in vitro by a 1000N load. The two QCT scans were manipulated to generate p-FE models that mimic the experimental conditions. We compared p-FE displacements and strains of the wet CT model to the dry CT model and to the experimental results. In addition, the material assignment strategy was reinvestigated. The inhomogeneous Young's modulus was represented in the FE model using two different methods, directly extracted from the CT data and using continuous spatial functions as in Yosibash et al. [2007a. Reliable simulations of the human proximal femur by high-order finite element analysis validated by experimental observations. J. Biomechanics 40, 3688-3699]. RESULTS Excellent agreement between dry and wet FE models was found for both displacements and strains, i.e. the method is insensitive to CT conditions and may be used in vivo. Good agreement was also found between FE results and experimental observations. The spatial functions representing Young's modulus are local and do not influence strains and displacements prediction. Finally, the p-FE results of all three fresh frozen human femurs compare very well to experimental observations exemplifying that the presented method may be in a mature stage to be used in clinical computer-aided decision making.
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