Mentor: Dr. Scott Banks
College of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
"I applied to the Scholars program to receive funding for a desired project pertaining to my interest in biomechanics. In doing so, I hope to acquire a stronger understanding of electrical engineering, controls/programming, and medical product development. My goals are to graduate Spring 2013, get accepted to graduate school, receive my own fellowship, and to work-in some triathlons and at least one half-marathon."
Biomechanics in relationship to orthopaedics and sports medicine
FEA as it pertains to the human body
Hobbies and Interests
Ligament Graft Miniature Material Testing System
The purpose of this research is to design and develop a miniature material testing system to be used in the operating room by surgeons to test the material properties of ligament grafts in real time before implantation. The material properties of autografts, in particular, are generally unknown; the intent of this machine is to test the graft in order to find those material properties to better judge whether or not the graft is well suited for implantation. Method of Design Inspiration for the design will be gathered from current methods used by surgeons in the operating room in conjunction with the desired usability a surgeon would require. The machine itself will be designed to be “quiet” and have the capability of being sterilized, with the entire system consisting of the machine and a laptop. The miniature material testing system will be designed in SolidWorks with a system and controls program to be written in LabVIEW. It will require a motor to provide force that puts the graft into tension, and sensors to measure the force being applied to the graft as well as its displacement. Procedure The graft will be sutured and attached to a cantilever load cell on one end and a wire attached to a motor on the other. Utilizing written programs, the machine will apply tension and run different testing cycles that measure the stiffness, creep, stress relaxation, and a test of minimum required yield strength.