Research Activities


Nano- and Microstructural Tissue Characterization for Improved Care of Children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Severe Clubfoot Deformity

Characterization of tissue through nano- and mircrostructural analysis is the topic of this activity, which proposes improvements in care for children with osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) and severe clubfoot deformity. Advanced technologies are applied to study tissue-level and structural characteristics. Findings will be used to develop improved assessment and treatment strategies.

  • Co-PI's
    • Gerald Harris, Ph.D., P.E.
    • Jeffrey Toth, Ph.D.
  • Patient populations
    • Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI): 45
    • Clubfoot (CF): 12

R1 Update: April 2012

Summary of research analysis of bone modulus.

Bone Modulus in Osteogenesis Imperfecta by Nanoindentation (2.5 MB)

R1 Hypotheses

  1. Patient-specific FEMs can be used to predict bone fracture and deformation (strain) patterns in children with OI
  2. Fiber orientation, distribution and mechanical behavior of MFMT (medial fibrotic mass tissue) in CF are predictive of longer-term maintenance of restoration
  3. FEMs incorporating hard and soft tissue can be used to develop more optimized conservative treatment for the prevention of recurrence in pediatric CF

R1 Anticipated Timeline

Activity: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Harvesting of OI bone specimens Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4
CT of OI bone specimens Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4
Nanoindentation of OI bone specimens Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4
Micro-mechanical testing of OI bone specimens Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4
OI FEM development: generic patient-specific Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4
Harvesting of clubfoot MFMT specimens Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4
CT imaging and analysis of MFMT specimens Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4
Mechanical characterization of clubfoot MFMT: testing QLV+P modeling Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4
Clubfoot QLV+P FEM: development simulations verification Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Q1Q2Q3Q4

R1 Aims

  1. Determine and compare the bone material properties in children with OI types I, III and IV
  2. Develop FEMs to assess site-specific fracture risk in children with OI during mobility
  3. Characterize the fiber orientation distribution and viscoelasto- plastic material behavior of pediatric residual CF MFMT under prolonged elongation
  4. Develop a FEM of the pediatric CF that incorporates bone and soft tissue geometry, soft tissue material behavior and boundary conditions imposed by various cast materials to identify a more optimal conservative treatment that minimizes the recurrence of deformity
  5. Monitor longer term outcomes of CF treatment using standardized functional assessment tools, quantitative motion analysis and plantar pressure assessment
  6. Determine if the microstructure and material properties are predictive of longer term outcomes measures in children with CF

R1 Procedures for OI Population

Picture shows the relation of different parts for patient-specific fracture risk assessment.

R1 Procedures for CF Population

Picture shows different factors impacting treatment and prevention of recurrence of clubfoot.