I3A - Instituto de Investigación en Ingeniería de Aragón

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GBMBiomaterials Group

The Biomaterials Group (GBM) is one of the research groups of Aragón Institute of Engineering Research (I3A), which has been considered as a Quality Research Group (Grupo Consolidado de Investigación) by the Regional Government of Aragón (Gobierno de Aragón). Besides its research activity, which is further described, GBM members are involved in teaching at Higher Polytechnic Engineering School (Centro Politécnico Superior, CPS) and Faculty of Medicine of Zaragoza University. They participate also in Biomaterials courses of Materials Science Program and in an interuniversity Biomedical Engineering Program. GBM is also deeply involved in promoting collaborations and coordinated projects with other national and international research groups. Finally, our staff also collaborates in many activities and forums, including scientific conferences, courses and seminars in order to spread the biomaterials concepts.

Research Lines

Biomedical Engineering

Clinical studies related to the long term behaviour of prostheses and implants

This line deals with the clinical follow-up of implanted patients, in order to determine the long term behaviour concerning functional and biomechanical aspects, like bone mineral density...

This line deals with the clinical follow-up of implanted patients, in order to determine the long term behaviour concerning functional and biomechanical aspects, like bone mineral density evolution, bone remodeling, stress shielding appearance, implant stability, wear in the surfaces of the contact pair and osteolisis.

Prostheses design for locomotor system

This line consists of the design of prostheses based on the clinical experience and in the simulation by finite element models of the biomechanical behavior of different joints. The collaboration...

This line consists of the design of prostheses based on the clinical experience and in the simulation by finite element models of the biomechanical behavior of different joints. The collaboration with the manufacturing sector of prostheses has allowed to tackle projects related to: A) The biomechanical behavior of healthy Spine and degenerative disc disease; B) Transpedicular fixation systems and intersomatic devices for spinal surgery; C) Application of FE to the  bone remodeling and biomechanical behavior of the femur after implantation of different femoral stems; D) Experimental analysis of resistance plasties ACL fixed with polyglycolic acid absorbable screws; E) the design of a prosthesis for the replacement of the radial head of the elbow.

Improvement of the polyethylene used in bear prostheses

Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene is a biopolymer with high social and economic impact, since together the CoCrMo alloy is the bearing par more relevant in total hip and knee replacements....

Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene is a biopolymer with high social and economic impact, since together the CoCrMo alloy is the bearing par more relevant in total hip and knee replacements. The goal of this line consists of enhancing the performance of this polyethylene to extend the life span of these prostheses. In order to reach this challenge, antioxidants or reinforcements are incorporated in polyethylene. The group study the influence of the vitamin E like a way to stabilize the material or the use of carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes or graphene nanocomposites to increase the mechanical properties. Other subline is the surface modification of polyethylene to reduce the bacterial adhesion.

Key Projects

Biomedical Engineering

Detection of undiagnosed vertebral fractures and vitamin D levels and for hormone in elderly population

Prospective study in patients admitted to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Miguel Servet University Hospital, for presenting osteoporotic fractures in other locations, to detect undiagnosed...

Prospective study in patients admitted to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Miguel Servet University Hospital, for presenting osteoporotic fractures in other locations, to detect undiagnosed vertebral fractures. In addition to these patients determination of serum levels of Vitamin D and Parathormone in order to determine the existence or not of disorders in calcium metabolism, caused by a deficiency of Vitamin D. Financiación: M.S.D.

12 years clinical follow-up of patients operated with ABG II hip prosthesis

Prospective study of a group of 189 patients undergoing surgery for hip pathology which were implanted prosthesis ABG II in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology of Miguel Servet...

Prospective study of a group of 189 patients undergoing surgery for hip pathology which were implanted prosthesis ABG II in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology of Miguel Servet University Hospital. The trial, including assessment of results with application of usual clinical scores and radiographic follow-up to analyze the problems of femoral remodeling produced by  stress-shielding, both stability prosthetic acetabulum, as in femur, and the wear of the bearing  surfaces of the prosthesis according to the friction  surfaces  used: metal-polyethylene or ceramic-ceramic, or ceramic-polyethylene. Financiación: STRYKER

Adaptive bone remodeling after placing an anatomical metaphyseal femoral stem, hydroxyapatite coated

10-year prospective study of the remodeling changes produced in the femur in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty with femoral anatomical ABG II stem operated on the Department of Orthopedic...

10-year prospective study of the remodeling changes produced in the femur in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty with femoral anatomical ABG II stem operated on the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology of Miguel Servet University Hospital.
We made up a group of 60 patients with controls by DXA scan of the proximal femur to determine the evolution of bone mineral density in the seven zones of Gruen, and determine the impact on the bone stress-shielding phenomenon, produced by the introduction of femoral stem. Financiación: STRYKER
 

Development and clinical application of a biomechanical model to predict osteoporotic fractures based on the bone mineral density measurement

In the clinical part of the Project, the bone mineral density (BMD) in spine will be measured in a control group of patients of both sexes, with a subsequent radiological follow-up. In the...

In the clinical part of the Project, the bone mineral density (BMD) in spine will be measured in a control group of patients of both sexes, with a subsequent radiological follow-up. In the simulation part of the project, a model to predict the probability of osteoporotic fractures, based on the fundamentals of Damage Mechanics and Fracture mechanics, will be developed, with the mechanical properties of bone changing along the time according to the BMD evolution. The model will be implemented in a finite element code and applied to the simulation of the biomechanical behaviour of thoracic-lumbar spine, allowing the calculation of all the mechanical magnitudes necessary to evaluate the fracture risk. The model will be adjusted and validated by using the densitometric measures obtained in the clinical study. Once the model has been validated, it will be applied to the individualized fracture risk prediction, considering different ages and patient conditions. Financiación: Fundación MUTUA MADRILEÑA

Finite element study for the optimization of the TriboFit® system

The objectives of this projects can be resumed as:

  • Development of three finite element models for the healthy hip, the hip implanted with the TriboFit® system...

The objectives of this projects can be resumed as:

  • Development of three finite element models for the healthy hip, the hip implanted with the TriboFit® system with and with our metal cup, in the standing position. Development of three finite element models for the healthy hip, the hip implanted with the TriboFit® system with and with our metal cup, in the heel support position. Development of three finite element models for the healthy hip, the hip implanted with the TriboFit® system with and with our metal cup, in the toe takeoff position.
  • Model validation comparing with the testing measurements carried out at the company.
  • Evaluation of contact stresses in different load conditions. Evaluation of the bone response at mid and long term, depending on the biomechanical changes due to the impantation.

Financiación: MBA/Active Implants

Finite element analysis of muscle forces acting on the lumbar spine. Application to the design and evaluation of lumbar fixations (PRIVATE CONTRACT – MEDTRONIC)

The goal of this project covers two lines: in the first one, a specific methodology for the analysis of muscle forces acting on the lumbar spine, both at global and local levels, in healthy...

The goal of this project covers two lines: in the first one, a specific methodology for the analysis of muscle forces acting on the lumbar spine, both at global and local levels, in healthy individuals is developed. After, the developed methodology is applied to the analysis of the lumbar spine in pathological conditions (different levels of disc degeneration), and to evaluate the functional recovery due to the lumbar fixations, assessing its performance.

FUNCOAT: Surface funcionalization of materials (NATIONAL - Consolider-Ingenio CSD2008-00023)

One of the objectives of this project is surface modification and the functionalization of material for biomedical applications. In the case of polyethylene, the research focuses on analysing LC...

One of the objectives of this project is surface modification and the functionalization of material for biomedical applications. In the case of polyethylene, the research focuses on analysing LC coatings for enhancing the tribological properties of the bearing components in prostheses and the F,I and Ag doped DLCs for obtaining higher bacterial adhesion resistance and reducing septic failure. Ionic implantation on polyethylene is also studied in order to obtain materials acting as oxygen barriers and to reduce ´in vivo¨ oxidation of the polyethylene.

Improvement of mechanical and tribological propertioes of carbón fiber and carbón nanotubes ultra high molecular weight polyethylene composites for biomedical applications. (NATIONAL - MAT2010-16175)

This project deals with the improvement of polyethylene from a mechanical point of view in order to obtain higher stiffness and reduce the dimensions of hip and knee components. Different...

This project deals with the improvement of polyethylene from a mechanical point of view in order to obtain higher stiffness and reduce the dimensions of hip and knee components. Different reinforcements have been used like carbon fiber and medical grade polyethylene fibers. Besides, the group try to assess the mechanical and tribological potencial of new reinforcements like multi-wall carbon nanotubes and graphene.

Key Technologies

Biomedical Engineering

Structural analysis of mechanical components

Structural analysis of complex mechanical components by means of advanced finite element simulation. Study of complex problems: non-linear behaviour, advanced materials, dynamic analysis,...

Structural analysis of complex mechanical components by means of advanced finite element simulation. Study of complex problems: non-linear behaviour, advanced materials, dynamic analysis, thermoplastic coupled problems, soil-structure interaction, etc. Application to different sectors: automotive industry, aeronautical industry, building engineering, etc.
 

Mechanical testing

Carrying out of different type of mechanical testing, with special application to fracture and fatigue of materials.

Carrying out of different type of mechanical testing, with special application to fracture and fatigue of materials.

Industrial Technologies

Tribology

Study of the friction coefficient and rate wear in bearing materials by means of baal-on disc and pin-on-disc tribometers at different lubricants and controlled temperatures.

Study of the friction coefficient and rate wear in bearing materials by means of baal-on disc and pin-on-disc tribometers at different lubricants and controlled temperatures.

Technology Transfer

Biomedical Engineering

Confocal microscopy

Services

Biomedical Engineering

Simulation by finite elements models of structures, components, prostheses and materials
Analysis of mechanical and tribological materials behavior
Studies of polymer degradation on environmental chambers
Mechanical characterization of materials, biomaterials and biological tissues

The I3A is able to perform experimental tests to asses the mechanical properties of different materials, focusing on biomaterials and biological tissues. The main experiments include uniaxial,...

The I3A is able to perform experimental tests to asses the mechanical properties of different materials, focusing on biomaterials and biological tissues. The main experiments include uniaxial, biaxial, compressive, shear stress, indentation and inflation states in order to capture phenomena such as elastic, viscoelastic, fatigue or softening behaviours of materials. In addition some other techniques allow to extract microstructural information, such as histology or micro-computational tomography.

Success Cases

Biomedical Engineering

Different patents in related to prostheses, orthoses and delivering drugs

The group has been performed different patents in related to prostheses, orthoses and delivering drugs. The technological transference has been linked to different national and multinational...

The group has been performed different patents in related to prostheses, orthoses and delivering drugs. The technological transference has been linked to different national and multinational companies like Medtronic, Zimmer, Laffit, Active Implants y Striker respect the simulation by finite elements models applied to components of locomotor system and also to components of polymer area like DSM Dyneema respect the materials and particularly to medical grade polyethylene fibers.

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