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Detailed Finite Element Modeling of the Human Ligamentous Cervical Spine Open Access


Other title
Cervical spine
Finite Element model
Static force
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Agah, Faisal
Supervisor and department
El-Rich, Marwan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Adeeb, Samer (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Duke, Kajsa (Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Structural Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Master of Science
Degree level
The main purpose of this study was creating a finite element model with bio-realistic geometry of ligaments in the cervical spine region. A ligamentous finite element model was created that allows the study of the stress distribution on ligaments under six different moments: flexion, extension, biaxial moments and bilateral moments. The created model was constructed considering comprehensive geometrical representation of the soft tissues such as ligaments and intervertebral disc and material laws that would make the model respond in a similar manner to the in vitro studies. The constructed model was tested against other numerical models as well as in vitro studies to ensure the current model can mimic the behaviour of the spine under any given static load. The in vitro study that was used was carried by Panjabi et al. (2001) and the finite element models used for validation are: Zhang et al. (2006); Palomar et al. (2007); Toosizadeh et al. (2011); Han et al. (2012); and Moglo et al. (2013). Using the created model, the following was demonstrated: 1) the response of the created model against in vitro studies as well as some other created models under the applied moments, 2) the load sharing percentage of the ligaments comparing to the other load bearing components in each of the six moments, 3) the stress initiation area, path prediction along the ligaments, and high stress areas in the ligaments, and 4) the most critical ligament in limiting the rotation of the spine under each of the six moments. Under the applied loads, the model had a similar response in comparison to the other finite element models mentioned earlier. It was found that stress distribution along the ligaments varied based on the ligament orientation with respect to the applied load. In addition, it was determined that high stress region changed based on the imposed load on the model. Also, the stress propagation along the ligament was dependent on the applied moment as in flexo-extension rotation, the stress was concentrated in the middle region of the ligaments while in biaxial rotation, the stress distributed diagonally along the ligament and in bilateral rotation, the stress was high on one half of the ligament and minimal on the other half.
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