Jan J. Lang, Mirjam Bastian, Peter Foehr, Michael Seebach, Jochen Weitz, Constantin von Deimling, Benedikt J. Schwaiger, Carina M. Micheler, Nikolas J. Wilhelm, Christian U. Grosse, Marco Kesting, Rainer Burgkart, Luis Cordova, Luis Cordova, Luis Cordova, Luis Cordova

Jun 8, 2021
Journal Paper
In this study, topology optimized, patient specific osteosynthesis plates (TOPOS-implants) are evaluated for the mandibular reconstruction using fibula segments. These shape optimized implants are compared to a standard treatment with miniplates (thickness: 1.0 mm, titanium grade 4) in biomechanical testing using human cadaveric specimen. Mandible and fibula of 21 body donors were used. Geometrical models were created based on automated segmentation of CT-scans of all specimens. All reconstructions, including cutting guides for osteotomy as well as TOPOS-implants, were planned using a custom-made software tool. The TOPOS-implants were produced by electron beam melting (thickness: 1.0 mm, titanium grade 5). The fibula-reconstructed mandibles were tested in static and dynamic testing in a multi-axial test system, which can adapt to the donor anatomy and apply side-specific loads. Static testing was used to confirm mechanical similarity between the reconstruction groups. Force-controlled dynamic testing was performed with a sinusoidal loading between 60 and 240 N (reconstructed side: 30% reduction to consider resected muscles) at 5 Hz for up to 5 · 105 cycles. There was a significant difference between the groups for dynamic testing: All TOPOS-implants stayed intact during all cycles, while miniplate failure occurred after 26.4% of the planned loading (1.32 · 105 ± 1.46 · 105 cycles). Bone fracture occurred in both groups (miniplates: n = 3, TOPOS-implants: n = 2). A correlation between bone failure and cortical bone thickness in mandible angle as well as the number of bicortical screws used was demonstrated. For both groups no screw failure was detected. In conclusion, the topology optimized, patient specific implants showed superior fatigue properties compared to miniplates in mandibular reconstruction. Additionally, the patient specific shape comes with intrinsic guiding properties to support the reconstruction process during surgery. This demonstrates that the combination of additive manufacturing and topology optimization can be beneficial for future maxillofacial surgery.
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