Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Scott Hazelwood


Studies are currently being performed to determine the effects of bisphosphonate treatments on the structure and density of bone tissue. One of the pathways for gaining a better understanding of the effects of this and other treatments involves creating a computer simulation. Theory suggests that bone tissue structure and density are directly related to the manner in which the tissue is loaded. Remodeling is the process in which bone tissue is resorbed in areas of low stress distributions, and generated in areas of high stress distributions. Previous studies have utilized numerical methods and finite element methods to predict bone structure as a result of stress distributions within the tissues. The Finite Element method was chosen for this study. This study was done on a canine (beagle) rib. The goal of this study was to develop an FEA model of the rib that would be used in conjunction with a bone remodeling algorithm, to model the behavior of the bone tissue. Appropriate boundary conditions, loads, and loading cycles were determined from literature, and applied. Respiration was assumed as the dominating activity; therefore the muscles involved in respiration were the primary source of the rib loading. The model also included an integrated UMAT sub-routine, which utilized data from the FEA model to iterate bone tissue densities and structures. The model closely predicted the porosities of the bone tissue, when compared to actual tissue samples, as well as what literature describes.