While the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, mechanical factors are widely reported to play a key role in dental and orthopedic implant success. We are using mechanical testing coupled with micro X-Ray computed tomography (micro-CT) to measure the 3D full-field deformation and strain inside trabecular bone. We also use atomic force microscope (AFM) to map the mechanical properties for the microstructures and ultrastructure in bone. We are also working on the image-based micro- finite element (micro-FE) models and the numerical simulations of bone remodeling under mechanical stimulus. These results can potentially provide insights to commonly observed clinical complications and improvements in surgical planning and techniques.
Polymer-ceramic composite materials are used in bioengineering, transportation, building, and energy for their unique property to provide high strength- and stiffness-to-weight ratios. Using polymer-ceramic composites, we designed and fabricated bio-inspired functionally graded materials for dental restorations. The cracking loads in the bio-inspired structures were found to be ~30% greater than those structures consist commercially available dental materials. We are now studying the fracture mechanisms and structure-property relationships in polymer-ceramic composites using mechanical testing coupled with micro-CT.
♦ Assessing the performance of additively manufactured variable lattice structures
♦ Adhesion between a polymer and a transition metal oxide: Atomic- and macro- scales investigations