Mechanical modelling of the human hip joint: motivation, advances and challenges

Alison Jones (University of Leeds)

Conference Room B, Schuster Building,

The human hip joint is a ball and socket joint, where cartilage and synovial fluid provide an extremely low friction movement, which cannot yet be replicated by any artificial means.  The damage to the cartilage or surrounding structures can occur through trauma or progressive damage due to sub-optimal biomechanics.  The process of articular joint degeneration, such as that which occurs in osteoarthritis, is only partially understood and certainly involves biological, chemical and mechanical factors.  Engineering tools, such as finite element analysis, are increasingly applied to the musculoskeletal system in order to demonstrate the difference between individuals, loading regimes or treatment options.    These methods are particularly valuable when complex geometries are involved or a large scale parametric testing is required.  In an age where we are striving for personalised medicine, the idea of creating a model of an individual’s anatomy and tissue properties in order to predict their damage severity or treatment outcomes, is very attractive.  This talk will walk through some of the recent advances in this area, including biphasic modelling of cartilage in whole joint models, as well as discussing the remaining challenges we face.

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