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Mechanical Strength Study of a Cranial Implant Using Computational Tools

Center for Mechanical Technology an Automation, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Campus de Santiago, University of Aveiro, 3810-183 Aveiro, Portugal
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Lukasiewicza 7/9, 50-371 Wrocław, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hidenao Fukuyama
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(2), 878;
Received: 16 November 2021 / Revised: 6 January 2022 / Accepted: 12 January 2022 / Published: 15 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics Research on Biological Soft Tissues)
The human head is sometimes subjected to impact loads that lead to skull fracture or other injuries that require the removal of part of the skull, which is called craniectomy. Consequently, the removed portion is replaced using autologous bone or alloplastic material. The aim of this work is to develop a cranial implant to fulfil a defect created on the skull and then study its mechanical performance by integrating it on a human head finite element model. The material chosen for the implant was PEEK, a thermoplastic polymer that has been recently used in cranioplasty. A6 numerical model head coupled with an implant was subjected to analysis to evaluate two parameters: the number of fixation screws that enhance the performance and ensure the structural integrity of the implant, and the implant’s capacity to protect the brain compared to the integral skull. The main findings point to the fact that, among all tested configurations of screws, the model with eight screws presents better performance when considering the von Mises stress field and the displacement field on the interface between the implant and the skull. Additionally, under the specific analyzed conditions, it is observable that the model with the implant offers more efficient brain protection when compared with the model with the integral skull. View Full-Text
Keywords: cranial implants; finite element method; PEEK; cranioplasty cranial implants; finite element method; PEEK; cranioplasty
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MDPI and ACS Style

Santos, P.O.; Carmo, G.P.; Sousa, R.J.A.d.; Fernandes, F.A.O.; Ptak, M. Mechanical Strength Study of a Cranial Implant Using Computational Tools. Appl. Sci. 2022, 12, 878.

AMA Style

Santos PO, Carmo GP, Sousa RJAd, Fernandes FAO, Ptak M. Mechanical Strength Study of a Cranial Implant Using Computational Tools. Applied Sciences. 2022; 12(2):878.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Santos, Pedro O., Gustavo P. Carmo, Ricardo J.A.d. Sousa, Fábio A.O. Fernandes, and Mariusz Ptak. 2022. "Mechanical Strength Study of a Cranial Implant Using Computational Tools" Applied Sciences 12, no. 2: 878.

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