Date of Award

12-2013

Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Stephen Klisch

Abstract

Articular cartilage degeneration, called osteoarthritis, in the hip joint is a serious condition that affects millions of individuals yearly, with limited clinical solutions available to prevent or slow progression of damage. Additionally, the effects of high-risk factors (e.g. obesity, soft and hard tissue injuries, abnormal joint alignment, amputations) on the progression of osteoarthritis are not fully understood. Therefore, the objective of this thesis is to generate a finite element model for predicting osteochondral tissue stress and strain in the human hip joint during gait, with a future goal of using this model in clinically relevant studies aimed at prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of OC injuries.

A subject specific finite element model (FEM) was developed from computerized tomography images, using rigid bones and linear elastic isotropic material properties for cartilage as a first step in model development. Peak contact pressures of 8.0 to 10.6 MPa and contact areas of 576 to 1010 mm2 were predicted by this FEM during the stance phase of gait. This model was validated with in vitro measurements and found to be in good agreement with experimentally measured contact pressures, and fair agreement with measured contact areas.

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