June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.215.1 - 22.215.8
Application of Parametric Solid Modeling for Orthopedic Studies of the Human SpineAbstractNowadays it is very important that technical people make use and apply available technologiesand methodologies to their field of work. In the engineering field there are many computer-basedtools that can have a significant positive impact on the way that many processes and proceduresare currently performed, thus making them more efficient and effective. And as educators, it isimportant to expose students to these technologies, and it is important to motivate their useduring their time on campus.One such technology in the area of Computer-aided Engineering (CAE) is parametric solidmodeling, and one such field would be the field of biomechanics. Parametric solid modeling hasinitially implemented in a commercial CAD software around 25 years ago, and right from thestart it was identified as a technique that – properly applied – would result in a positive impact inthe engineering design process. Biomechanics as well can be considered a relatively new field,and it deals with the application of engineering mechanics to study anatomical and functionalaspects of biological systems. In this biomechanics field we have spine biomechanics andorthopedics, that deal with the studying this musculoskeletal systems.Students were exposed to these two areas – parametric solid modeling and biomechanics - in thecontext of a Design Senior Project. One of the most critical problems that doctors andresearchers encounter is the lack of effective tools to study, in this case, the human spine. Thetypical approach is to perform studies with cadaver spines, or with some highly-regulated in vivostudies on animals. Both options have many limitations, thus the need by doctors for other toolsthat will help in their studies.The objective of the senior project was to create a fully parametric three-dimensional model ofthe human spine, with fully parametric implying that every defining dimension of the model canbe adjusted at any point throughout creation, or even once the model has been generated. Theintention is to be able to represent and analyze various orthopedic conditions of the human spine,such as scoliosis and kyphosis. The senior design team faced many challenges, as with any newarea of study, but at the end they had a very rewarding experience that has nicely complementedtheir college education.This project is one step towards the creation of a virtual environment where implants can betested, and surgical procedures and instruments can be probed, and even customizing them forthe case at hand.
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