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Composite and Biomaterials in Biomedical Applications

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2022) | Viewed by 18076

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Coimbra, 3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: materials; biomechanics; computational mechanics; multibody systems; optimization; microstructural behaviour of materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

The continuing search for advances in medical sciences has provided innumerable engineering/medical solutions that can perform, augment, or replace the natural function of a defective organ by interacting with the biological system. These solutions are only possible, however, if healthcare professionals can communicate with engineers. The communication capacity can be improved by separately growing the number of written and published reports in each one of the research communities, or by increasing the interchange of research and clinical knowledge. Hence, the intent of this Special Issue is to contribute to the publication of reports containing interchangeable original and substantial findings wherein the principles of mechanics are used to explore biological problems.

  • Numerical/analytical, as well as experimental papers may be submitted for a wide range of topics in biomechanics, including, but not limited to:
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory biomechanics—mechanics of blood-flow, air-flow, mechanics of the soft tissues, flow–tissue or flow–prosthesis interactions;
  • Dental biomechanics—design and analysis of dental tissues and prostheses, mechanics of chewing;
  • Tissue engineering—the role of biomechanical factors in engineered tissue replacements and regenerative medicine;
  • Injury biomechanics—mechanics of impact and trauma;
  • Orthopedic biomechanics–mechanics of bone fracture, mechanics of implants and implant fixation, mechanics of bones and joints, wear of natural and artificial joints;
  • Rehabilitation biomechanics—mechanics of prosthetics and orthotics.

Dr. Maria Augusta Neto
Dr. Ana Paula Betencourt Martins Amaro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomechanics
  • biomaterials
  • composite materials
  • experimental tests
  • numerical models
  • tissue engineering

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 3029 KiB  
Article
Development of a Novel Passive-Dynamic Custom AFO for Drop-Foot Patients: Design Principles, Manufacturing Technique, Mechanical Properties Characterization and Functional Evaluation
by Paolo Caravaggi, Alessandro Zomparelli, Giulia Rogati, Massimiliano Baleani, Roberta Fognani, Franco Cevolini, Cristina Fanciullo, Arianna Cinquepalmi, Giada Lullini, Lisa Berti and Alberto Leardini
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(9), 4721; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094721 - 7 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2445
Abstract
Ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are medical devices prescribed to support the foot and ankle of drop-foot patients. Passive-dynamic AFOs (PD-AFOs) are an effective solution for less severe cases. While off-the-shelf PD-AFOs are rather inexpensive, they provide poor anatomical fit and do not account [...] Read more.
Ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are medical devices prescribed to support the foot and ankle of drop-foot patients. Passive-dynamic AFOs (PD-AFOs) are an effective solution for less severe cases. While off-the-shelf PD-AFOs are rather inexpensive, they provide poor anatomical fit and do not account for the required patient-specific biomechanical support. Three-dimensional (3D) scanning and manufacturing technologies allow manufacturing PD-AFOs customized for the patient’s anatomy and functional needs. This paper aimed to report the overall procedure for designing and manufacturing a novel, fiberglass-reinforced polyamide, custom PD-AFO. The feasibility of the proposed procedure was tested in a case study. The methodology can be divided into the following steps: (i) foot and leg scanning, (ii) 3D design, and (iii) additive manufacturing via selective laser sintering. A custom PD-AFO was designed and manufactured for a 67-year-old male drop-foot patient following paraparesis in severe discarthrosis after spine stabilization surgery. AFO mechanical properties were measured via an ad hoc setup based on a servohydraulic testing machine. The functional outcome was assessed via gait analysis in three conditions: shod (no AFO), wearing an off-the-shelf PD-AFO, and wearing the patient-specific PD-AFO. As expected, wearing the PD-AFO resulted in increased ankle dorsiflexion in the swing phase with respect to the shod condition. Sagittal rotations of the hip, knee, and ankle joints were similar across PD-AFO conditions, but the custom PD-AFO resulted in faster walking speed with respect to the off-the-shelf (walking speed: 0.91 m/s versus 0.85 m/s). Additionally, the patient scored the custom PD-AFO as more comfortable (VAS score: 9.7 vs. 7.3). While the present analysis should be extended to a larger cohort of drop-foot patients, the novel PD-AFO seems to offer a valid, custom solution for drop-foot patients not satisfied with standard orthotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite and Biomaterials in Biomedical Applications)
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17 pages, 5635 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Bone Consolidation in External Fixation with an Electromechanical System
by Maria F. Paulino, Luis M. Roseiro, Inês Balacó, Maria A. Neto and Ana M. Amaro
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 2328; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12052328 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3324
Abstract
The monitoring of fracture or osteotomy healing is vital for orthopedists to help advise, if necessary, secondary treatments for improving healing outcomes and minimizing patient suffering. It has been decades since osteotomy stiffness has been identified as one main parameter to quantify and [...] Read more.
The monitoring of fracture or osteotomy healing is vital for orthopedists to help advise, if necessary, secondary treatments for improving healing outcomes and minimizing patient suffering. It has been decades since osteotomy stiffness has been identified as one main parameter to quantify and qualify the outcome of a regenerated callus. Still, radiographic imaging remains the current standard diagnostic technique of orthopedists. Hence, with recent technological advancements, engineers need to use the new branches of knowledge and improve or innovate diagnostic technologies. An electromechanical system was developed to help diagnose changes in osteotomy stiffness treated with the external fixator LRS Orthofix®. The concept was evaluated experimentally and numerically during fracture healing simulation using two different models: a simplified model of a human tibia, consisting of a nylon bar with a diameter of 30 mm, and a synthetic tibia with the anatomical model from fourth-generation Sawbones®. Moreover, Sawbones® blocks with different densities simulated the mechanical characteristics of the regenerated bone in many stages of bone callus growth. The experimental measurements using the developed diagnostic were compared to the numerically simulated results. For this external fixator, it was possible to show that the displacement in osteotomy was always lower than the displacement prescribed in the elongator. Nevertheless, a relationship was established between the energy consumption by the electromechanical system used to perform callus stimulus and the degree of osteotomy consolidation. Hence, this technology may lead to methodologies of mechanical stimulation for regenerating bone, which will play a relevant role for bedridden individuals with mobility limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite and Biomaterials in Biomedical Applications)
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15 pages, 4171 KiB  
Article
The Effectiveness of Dental Protection and the Material Arrangement in Custom-Made Mouthguards
by Ana Messias, Inês J. Gomes, Paulo N. B. Reis, Ana M. Amaro and Maria A. Neto
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(20), 9363; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11209363 - 9 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2190
Abstract
Experimental research studies have shown that wearing a mouthguard (MG) is an effective way to prevent tooth or maxillofacial trauma. However, there is a lack of scientific information regarding how the material arrangement within the mouthguard can modify its mechanical response during an [...] Read more.
Experimental research studies have shown that wearing a mouthguard (MG) is an effective way to prevent tooth or maxillofacial trauma. However, there is a lack of scientific information regarding how the material arrangement within the mouthguard can modify its mechanical response during an impact. Hence, this study aimed to evaluate the influence of material arrangement within custom-made mouthguards on stress transmitted to anterior teeth, bone, and soft tissue after impact. Four 3D finite element models of a human maxilla were reconstructed based on the CBCT of a young patient and analyzed according to the presence or absence of a mouthguard and the type of material arrangement within those with a mouthguard: model NMG with no mouthguard; model CMG representing the conventional arrangement with a single 4 mm-thick ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foil; model FMG presenting layer arrangement with two 1 mm-thick foils of EVA in the outer shell and one 2 mm-thick foil of EVA foam in the core; model HMG presenting a 1 mm-thick compact inner and outer shell of EVA and a 2 mm wide air-filled zone in the core. Linear quasi-static analysis and frontal load were used to simulate an impact with an energy of 4.4 J. Isotropic linear elastic properties were assumed for the bone and teeth but not for the mouthguard protection and oral soft tissues. The results were evaluated and compared in terms of displacement, stretches, and stresses. All the mouthguards analyzed reduced the risk of injury to teeth and bone, reducing the displacement and stress of these structures. However, the implementation of a honeycomb structured layer allowed more significant displacement and deformation of the mouthguard’s external layer, thus promoting higher protection of the anatomic structures, namely the root dentin and the bone tissue. Nevertheless, the results also indicate that improving the mouthguard flexibility might increase the soft tissue injuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite and Biomaterials in Biomedical Applications)
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17 pages, 3797 KiB  
Article
Influence of Cavity Geometry on the Fracture Strength of Dental Restorations: Finite Element Study
by Maria A. Neto, Luis Roseiro, Ana Messias, Rui I. Falacho, Paulo J. Palma and Ana M. Amaro
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4218; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094218 - 6 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3498
Abstract
The main purpose of this work was to analyze the stress distribution in premolars restored with indirect IPS Empress® CAD onlays or inlays. The three-dimensional geometry of a human first premolar was created using modeling software. The tooth fixation system was simulated [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this work was to analyze the stress distribution in premolars restored with indirect IPS Empress® CAD onlays or inlays. The three-dimensional geometry of a human first premolar was created using modeling software. The tooth fixation system was simulated through box geometry, comprising a cortical bone layer with 2 mm of thickness over a layer of trabecular bone with 15 mm of thickness. The tooth had the following approximated crown dimensions: 10.35 mm buccolingual length; 7.1 mm mesiodistal width; and 7.0 mm cervico-occlusal height. The mesio-occluso-distal (MOD) cavity preparations followed the suggestions available in the literature. The cement geometry was modified to include cohesive zone models (CZM) to perform the adhesive joint’s strength prediction. The loading body was created assuming contact between the food bolus and the tooth surface. Numerical solutions were obtained by performing static analysis and damage analysis using the finite element method. Von Mises stress values generated in the ceramic inlay restoration ranged from 1.39–181.47 MPa, which were on average 4.4% higher than those of the onlay ceramic restoration. The fracture strength of the onlay restoration was about 18% higher than that of the inlay restoration. The onlay design seems to contribute to higher homogenization of the adhesive resin cement strain and higher tooth structure protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite and Biomaterials in Biomedical Applications)
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18 pages, 4714 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Evaluation of Implant-Assisted Removable Partial Dentures in Kennedy Class I Patients: Finite Element Design Considerations
by Ana Messias, Maria A. Neto, Ana M. Amaro, Vítor M. Lopes and Pedro Nicolau
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020659 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3524
Abstract
The main purpose of this work was to construct a clinically valid numerical model of a mandibular Kennedy class I patient rehabilitated with a conventional removable partial denture and another two with implant-assisted removable partial dentures at two different implant locations. The selected [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this work was to construct a clinically valid numerical model of a mandibular Kennedy class I patient rehabilitated with a conventional removable partial denture and another two with implant-assisted removable partial dentures at two different implant locations. The selected patient was classified as ASA I and its mandible geometry reconstruction was performed by the conversion of the Cone-Beam computed Tomography (CBCT) scan raw medical data into a 3D model and subsequent conversion to a CAD file by reverse engineering methods. The soft tissue and removable denture geometries were also included in the CAD model as well as implants, ball attachments and matrix. Moreover, periodontal ligament was modelled by offsetting the mesh of the root surface of each tooth. The finite element results showed that the installation of a dental implant in each of the bilateral edentulous regions helps providing support and retention to the extension bases of the Removable Partial Denture (RPD) and significantly reduces the vertical and anterior-posterior displacements, regardless of its position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite and Biomaterials in Biomedical Applications)
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14 pages, 10001 KiB  
Article
Plantar Pressure Evaluation during the Season in Five Basketball Movements
by Catarina M. Amaro, Maria A. Castro, Luis Roseiro, Maria A. Neto and Ana M. Amaro
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8691; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238691 - 4 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2171
Abstract
Sports activity is extremely important in the health context, with a clear motivation for its practice. One of the sports that involve more athletes is basketball, where the human body undergoes rapid reactions, emphasizing the contact of the foot with the ground. The [...] Read more.
Sports activity is extremely important in the health context, with a clear motivation for its practice. One of the sports that involve more athletes is basketball, where the human body undergoes rapid reactions, emphasizing the contact of the foot with the ground. The main goal of the present study is to evaluate the distribution of plantar pressure in five different basketball movements. Supported by a group of nine volunteer female athletes from a senior basketball team, a data acquisition protocol was defined to identify the changes that occur throughout the sports season. In this study, the maximum values of plantar pressure were evaluated for both feet. The five movements that were defined and studied are all movements that might be performed during the basketball practice period. To guarantee the necessary conditions of data reliability and repeatability, at least seven repetitions were performed for each movement, which occurred at two different moments of the sports season: at the beginning of the competition in November, and at season peak, four months later, in March. Overall, the results obtained did not present statistically significant changes between the two seasons in this study. However, a slight decrease was observed throughout the sporting season for all movements, except for the rebound, where there was a contrary evaluation. Additionally, athletes with a higher level of experience show higher values of plantar pressure than less experienced athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite and Biomaterials in Biomedical Applications)
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