Open Biomed Eng J 2013 15;7:9-17. Epub 2013 Jan 15.
4-9 MecE building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2G8.
A tubular braided composite bone cast for improving the efficiency and quality of bone fracture treatment is investigated. Finite element analysis was used to evaluate stress concentrations in fracture sites supported with plate and tubular casts. The stress in a plated bone is 768 % of that in a whole bone at the same location, while it is only 47 % in a bone with a tubular cast. Three unbroken synthetic humeri were mechanically tested using an in-vitro long bone testing procedure developed in-house to find their stiffness at 20° and 60° abduction; these were found to be 116.8 ± 1.5 N/mm and 20.63 ± 0.02 N/mm, respectively. A 2 cm gap osteotomy was cut through the diaphysis in each bone. The bones were casted with a Kevlar/Cold cure composite, with calculated braid angles and thicknesses that Closely matched bone propoerties. The stiffness tests were repeated, and the results were within 10 % of the unbroken bone. This novel method of bone casting is promising if other clinical challenges can be minimized.