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Students present at the Orthopedic Research Society Meeting

Engineering students present MUSE project at the Orthopedic Research Society Meeting

Kevin Abbruzzese, Ricky O’Laughlin, and Daniel Lee presented at a conference hosted by the Orthopedic Research Society on January 13-16, in Long Beach California. The conference is primarily devoted to advancements in the field of orthopedics. National and international engineers, surgeons, and researchers attend the conference to share new developments. The presence of the participants from Japan, the Netherlands, and England at this global event indicated its significance and prestige.

Engineering students Abbruzzese, O’Laughlin and Lee had the opportunity to showcase research conducted at TCNJ via the Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (M.U.S.E.). Their project was entitled Investigation of the effect of cement viscosity in Total Knee Replacement using Digital Image Correlation. Aseptic loosening of the tibial implant is a prevalent reason for failure in Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA). The cement viscosity at the time of application to the bone is vital for cement penetration and mechanical stability of the construct. High viscosity cements greatly reduce operating time, yet, may result in decreased penetration into the bone and reduced stability.

Twelve Sawbone models were instrumented with Zimmer NexGen-LPS tibial plates and fixed with one of four cements of differing viscosities: Simplex-P, Endurance, DePuy II, and Palacos (n = 3). The constructs were subjected to cyclic compressive loading (600 N) in the sagittal plane of the tibial implants for 6000 cycles. After cyclic loading, the construct was loaded to 3000 N at the rate of 20 N/s. Both were loaded using the MTS 810 Testing Machine.Digital Imaging Correlation(DIC) was used to determine displacements between image frames taken from a fixed CCD camera.

These techniques allowed the transverse and sagittal-plane micro-motions to be quantified. Simplex had the smallest micro-motion of all cements in sagittal plane (P = 0.002 vs. Palacos and Endurance, and P = 0.2794 vs. Depuy-2). In transverse plane, Simplex had the lowest micro-motion 0.0234mm±0.0175mm, P = 0.01 vs. Endurance; P > 0.2 vs. Depuy-2 and Palacos). There was no statistically significant difference among cements when comparing maximum force at failure. These results have direct clinical relevance for TKA patients suffering from aseptic loosening.

Speaking for his team-mates Abbruzzese said “TCNJ granted a wonderful opportunity to the three off us, allowing us to collaborate with other pioneers in the field and reflect on professional opinions. We even gained pivotal information for our research! Overall, attending the conference as undergraduates provided us with a remarkable experience and allowed us to grow intellectually.”

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