Computational Biomechanics Laboratory

Model of a lumbar spine

The Computational Biomechanics Laboratory is housed in the Orthopedic Building in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. We use computational techniques such as finite element analysis to investigate the in vivo behavior, disease processes, and failure of joints of the human body and orthopaedic implants. We work closely with the motion analysis, implant pathology, spine biomechanics and tribology laboratories.

Our work

Specific areas of research include the following:

  • Predicting in vivo knee joint forces for patients with a total knee replacement. Accurate knee joint forces are needed for preclinical testing of knee replacements but they cannot be readily measured from the body
  • Using computer modeling to predict polyethylene wear of total knee replacements
  • Optimizing design parameters of total hip replacement modular junctions to minimize micromotion and corrosion using finite element analysis
  • Risk factors for adjacent segment pathology after spinal fusion: impact of pre-existing factors
  • Effect of posterior bone graft in a spine with postero-lateral fusion



knee implant evaluation

Our laboratory uses finite element analysis, a mathematical technique to determine the stresses and strains in an object. We also use computational dynamics to determine joint forces and motions. Medical imaging is used to create the geometry used in computer modeling. Software used for these purposes include ABAQUS, ADINA, Matlab, Mimics and OpenSim.


NIH/NIAMS 1 R01AR070181-01A1

Title: “Corrosion Induced Hip Implant Failure: Synergistic Interactions of Patient, Material, Design, and Surgical Factors”

It is the objective of this application to identify modes of corrosion that lead to adverse local tissue reactions and how they depend on material, implant design, surgical implantation and patient factors.

NIH/NIAMS 1 R01AR059843-01A1

Title: “Wear Testing for Enhanced Prediction of TKR Clinical Performance”

The major goal of this work is to develop a multi-activity simulator standard that will result in wear rates and patterns that closely reflect true in vivo use, unlike current input profiles, will improve the quality of predictive wear tests. This will further advance and speed up the design process of knee prostheses. Any preclinical elimination of material and/or design errors directly improves implant longevity and impacts ultimately the well-being of the patient.

NIH/NIAMS 1 1R03AR066829-01A1

Title: “Preventing Total Hip Modular Junction Fretting through Optimal Surface Topography”

The goal of this work is to optimize the surface topography of modular hip taper junctions to reduce fretting and corrosion and ultimately help delay or avoid revision surgeries.

Our team


Postdoctoral fellows

  • Jonathan A. Gustafson, PhD
  • Steven Mell, PhD

Contact us

News and updates

Lab research featured at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society

February, 2019

Computational lab members recently presented their work at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, or ORS! In addition lab member Steven Mell, PhD won a Force & Motion Foundation/ORS Young Scientist Travel Grant to attend the meeting and present his work. Abstracts presented by a member of the Computational Biomechanics Lab can be found at the links below.

  • Femoral Offset and Topographical Geometry are More Important Determinants of Taper Damage in Total Hip Modular Junctions than Flexural Rigidity. #0285. Stephanie M. McCarthy; Sean M. Kearns; Deborah J. Hall; Laura Quigley; Brett R. Levine; Robin Pourzal; Hannah J. Lundberg
  • Does ACL Retention in TKRs Affect Shear Forces on the Tibial Component During Normal Gait? #0363. Jacqueline C. Simon; Hannah J. Lundberg; Craig J. Della Valle; Markus A. Wimmer
  • Total Knee Replacement Wear is Most Sensitive to Transverse Plane Alignment- A Parametric Finite Element Study. #0880Steven P. Mell; Markus A. Wimmer; Joshua J. Jacobs; Hannah J. Lundberg
  • Sensitivity of Total Knee Replacement Wear to Tibial Component Malrotation. #0885Steven P. Mell; Spencer Fullam; Markus A. Wimmer; Hannah J. Lundberg
  • Corrosion In THR Modular Junction: Micro-segregations Within CoCrMo Alloy Enhance Corrosion Processes Under Non-inflammatory And Progressive Inflammatory Conditions. #1901.  Diane Alkatout; Shruti Salunkhe; Divya Bijukumar; Stephanie McCarthy; Deborah Hall; Hannah Lundberg; Robin Pourzal; Mathew T. Mathew
  •  Fusion Combined with Disc Degeneration is a Higher Risk Factor in Causing Adjacent Segment Disease than Fusion or Disc Degeneration alone. #1678. Raghu N. Natarajan; Ayushmita De
  • Length of Fusion is a Significant Risk Factor In Development of Adjacent Disc Disease in a Lumbar Spine A Finite Element Study. #1680. Raghu N. Natarajan; Kazuhiro Hasegawa
  • Effects of Taper Mismatch Angle and Head Topography on Modular Hip Taper Contact Mechanics. #2131Jonathan A. Gustafson; Robin Pourzal; Hannah Lundberg

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