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By Amirkabir University of Technology Researchers: A Novel Design of Plates for Stabilizing Jaw to Fix Surgical Problems

 | Post date: 2020/03/14 | 
Amirkabir University of technology researches are trying to develop a solution for post-surgical issues of lower jaw by design and developing a new type of stabilizing plates for jaw and introducing Nitinol alloy as a biomaterial alternative for titanium alloy. 
According to Public Relations of the Amirkabir University of Technology, Ali Nikoo, an MSc graduate of biomedical engineering in biomaterial field and the presenter of the project entitled “Biomechanical evaluation of titanium jaw repairing plates and introduction of Nitinol as an alternative” said: illness, cancer or various collisions are of the factors that cause partial resection and incompletion of the anatomy and dysfunctionality of the jaw bone.
He mentioned: “most of the available stabilizing plates in the market are made of Titanium alloy (V4Ali6Ti) and presented in a standard format that has a high yield strength and highly biocompatible with body tissues”. 
 According to him, since these standard plates are bent by the surgeon’s hand and placed on the jaw, it will create high-stress points on it. But according to previous studies, they have some major problems after the surgery. One of the most important problems is due to the large difference between the elastic module of titanium that weakens the bone tissue, and in some cases, creates the stress concentration and fracture of plates that lead to eject from the patient’s face. He added that “due to successive stress on bolts, the probability of the stress concentration around the bolts and loosening is high”.
He also added: “Nitinol (NiTi) is a titanium alloy with high specifications such as biocompatibility, ultimate yield, and fatigue strength, damping and shock absorption coefficients. Moreover, its Young’s modulus is closer to the bone and can be adjusted to the bone by creating porosity to obtain a better stress distribution on bone and plate.”
He mentioned his research method as: “By utilizing CT scan images of the skull in the Mimics software, a simple model of the lower jaw bone is modeled and by using Solidworks and Matic-3 engineering design software packages, we designed a broken jaw with a custom sinusoidal plate and evaluated it by defining the problem's conditions, loading, boundary conditions, and mechanical properties.
With mentioning the results, he added: recovery period is 2-4 months after the graft transplant surgery and stabilizing the jaw. During the recovery period, due to added preload on the stabilizing plate, the probability of adequate graft consolidation is enhanced.
Among the top industries in the US and Europe, he said, is the industry of orthopedic equipment and maxillofacial implants. Originally this was an industry between biomedical engineering and medical practitioners that designs patient-specific stabilizing or repairing plate or plaque 
by using engineering software packages and CT scan images, fabricates it with 3D printing technology, and with the help of computer systems and computer-operated surgery, it will use these orthopedic plates on the patient’s jaw or face.
A sample of the broken jaw with custom-made plate modeling: