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Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. | doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2018.00174

Numerical Simulation of an Intramedullary Elastic Nail: expansion phase and load-bearing behaviour

  • 1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Perugia, Italy
  • 2Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale, Politecnico di Torino, Italy

The Marchetti-Vicenzi’s nail is an intramedullary device where six curved nails are kept straight by a closing ring in order to allow their insertion into the medullary canal of a long bone; in a following step, these nails stabilize the fracture due to the ring withdrawal and to the consequent elastic expansion of the nails. Pre-clinical testing of this sort of device is strongly advocated in order to be able to foresee their stability inside the medullary canal and to quantify their stiffening action on a broken bone.
In this numerical work an MB (Multi Body) model of the device has been developed, with the dual purpose of evaluating forces between the bone and the system components during its progressive opening and verifying the behaviour of the stabilized bone when it undergoes external loading. Different solutions, for flexible body modelling (discretization with lumped parameters, ‘flexible body’, ‘FE Part’) have been analysed and compared in terms of accuracy of results and required computational resources. Contact parameters have been identified and criteria to simplify geometries and therefore to reduce simulation times have been given.
Results have allowed identifying some critical issues in the design of these nails and in their use, and giving suggestions for new designs. On the whole, a tool for the optimization and for the pre-clinical testing of elastic intramedullary nails has been given.

Keywords: multibody analysis, FE analysis, Sliding contacts, Intramedullary nails, Marchetti-Vicenzi’s nail, Flexible bodies

Received: 23 Aug 2018; Accepted: 02 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Ridha Hambli, Polytech Orléans, France

Reviewed by:

Rui B. Ruben, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal
Heidi-lynn Ploeg, Queen's University, Canada  

Copyright: © 2018 Pascoletti, Zanetti, Cianetti, Terzini and Putame. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Elisabetta M. Zanetti, University of Perugia, Department of Industrial Engineering, Perugia, Italy, elisabetta.zanetti@unipg.it