|Abstract : Total knee arthroplasty is a common and, generally, successful operation. Even if recent knee prosthesis designs have shown good outcomes, poor soft-tissue balance throughout the range of motion or degenerate ligaments may result in postoperative instability and early implant failure. Thus, the importance of ligaments in providing joint stability and in guiding joint kinematics dictate a need to increase our understanding of their functional and mechanical properties.
The aim of the project will be the investigation of the biomechanical characterization, in terms of material properties and function, of each the main structures surrounding the knee joint. Static and dynamic experimental tests will be performed in order to quantify their mechanical properties and to analyze the role of each ligament in joint kinematics. This will be finalized in the development of dynamic 3D finite element model of a full native knee that will be validated with specific experimental tests performed on the previous simulators. Once validated, the model will be useful to compare and to match as close as possible the performance of an implanted knee prosthesis with respect to the native joint.
A deep understanding of the mechanical properties of the knee structures will be helpful for clinicians, engineers and researchers to design better implants, to optimize surgical techniques, to improve the knowledge in knee biomechanics, and to make close to real numerical models of the human knee.|