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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Advisor 1

Keat Ghee Ong

Committee Member 1

JIngfeng Jiang

Committee Member 2

Smitha Rao

Committee Member 3

Yongmei Jin


Several studies have shown the impact of mechanical environments on fracture healing. Studies on the low magnitude, high frequency (LMHF) mechanical stimulations (tens of micro-strains and tens of Hz) have demonstrated improved bone regeneration, especially for bone fractures that do not heal properly and developed into delayed unions or non-unions. This type of treatment is often provided as whole-body vibrations with the patient standing on a vibrating platform. While several studies have shown the useful application of LMHF mechanical stimuli in improving bone density but currently available technologies have limited application in fractured bones. The goal of this project is to develop a bone fracture fixation device that utilizes an integrated actuator based on a magnetostrictive material which changes in physical dimension from tens of nanometers to a few microns depending on the strength of an externally applied magnetic field. The strain produced by the magnetostrictive actuator transferred through the fracture fixation device acts directly on the fracture defect region, resulting in localized loading. The electromagnetic driving system for the magnetostrictive actuator remains outside the body and produces wireless mechanical actuations. This externally controlled mechanical loading can help in investigating the effect of various types of mechanical stimulus on bone healing. Specifically, this project will focus on osteogenesis in critically-sized segmental bone defects in rats, an established animal model in bone regeneration studies. The focus of this project is to (1) develop a device that can generate variable mechanical loads on segmental bone defects in rats and (2) to conduct an in vivo study assessing the effects of augmented mechanical loading on osteogenesis.