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Research Papers

An Optimization Study of the Screw Orientation on the Interfacial Strength of the Anterior Lumbar Plate System Using Neurogenetic Algorithms and Experimental Validation

[+] Author and Article Information
Chian-Her Lee

Department of Orthopaedics,
School of Medicine,
College of Medicine,
Taipei Medical University and Hospital,
Taipei 110, Taiwan

Ching-Chi Hsu

Graduate Institute of Applied Science
and Technology,
National Taiwan University of Science
and Technology,
Taipei 106, Taiwan
e-mail: hsucc@mail.ntust.edu.tw

Dinh Cong Huy

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Taiwan University of Science
and Technology,
Taipei 106, Taiwan

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 2, 2014; final manuscript received August 5, 2014; accepted manuscript posted August 27, 2014; published online September 12, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Joel D. Stitzel.

J Biomech Eng 136(11), 111007 (Sep 12, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: BIO-14-1148; doi: 10.1115/1.4028412 History: Received April 02, 2014; Revised August 05, 2014; Accepted August 27, 2014

Anterior lumbar plate (ALP) systems have been widely used as an effective interbody fusion device for treating spinal cord compression. However, clinical complications, such as implant loosening and breakage, still occur. Past studies have investigated the effects of the screw orientation on the interfacial strength, but these studies were inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to identify an ALP system with excellent interfacial strength by varying the screw orientation. Three-dimensional finite element models of L4–L5 segments with an ALP system were first constructed. A neurogenetic algorithm, which combines artificial neural networks and genetic algorithms, was subsequently developed to discover the optimum plate design. Finally, biomechanical tests were conducted to validate the results of the finite element models and the engineering algorithm. The results indicated that the interfacial strength of the optimum plate design obtained using the neurogenetic algorithm was excellent compared with the other designs and that all of the locking screws should be inserted divergently. Both the numerical and experimental outcomes can provide clinical suggestions to surgeons and help them to understand the interfacial strength of ALP systems in terms of the screw orientation.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) The loading and boundary conditions of the finite element models. (b) The design variables of the ALP system.

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Fig. 2

The flowchart of the neurogenetic algorithm

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Fig. 3

(a) The specially manufactured bone models. (b) The ALP systems fabricated in this study. (c) The experimental setup.

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Fig. 4

(a) The displacement distribution of the finite element models. (b) The S/N ratio plot of the total reaction force.

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Fig. 5

The force–displacement curve of the experiments

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Fig. 6

The correlation study between the finite element models and the experimental tests

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