Numerical Modeling of the Adhesive Contact at the Bone-Implant Interface.


One of the most important factors for the success of bone implants is the initial stability of the

implant in the bone of the patient, mainly governed by the quality of contact at the bone-implant

interface. While good contact and an appropriate amount of micro-motion between bone and

implant govern the growth of new bone and therefore, the adaptation of the implant, poor

initial stability, incorrect load distribution, and large micro-motions lead to maladaptation.

In turn, maladaptation can increase friction between bone and implant and lead to wear out, loosening, malaposition, and bone loss, and thus, failure of the implant. Although this subject has been studied extensively, the main mechanisms at the interface are still poorly understood, as adhesive contact

between bone and implants is a highly complicated multi-physics and multi-scale problem that includes phenomena in different scales, tissue mechanics, contact mechanics, chemistry, and biology.


The goal of this project is to develop a model that can predict the contact behaviour at the bone-implant interface, including friction, adhesion and osseointegration. A homogenization approach is developed to faciliate the modeling of the multi-scale behaviour of the interface, while maintaining computational efficiency. An efficient frictional adhesion model is derived to predict micro-motions, stress, and stability of the implant during and after insertion, as well as during loading. In the log term, this project aims to establish a quantitative model for the prediction of implant behaviour in bone to faciliate design and insertion procedures of future implants.