Partial resection of the maxilla (maxillectomy) and mandible is performed in patients with extensive benign or malign tumors as well as medication related and radiation induced osteonecrosis of the jaws. Reconstruction of such segmental defects is most commonly performed with autologous, microsurgically anastomosed free flaps
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Biomechanics & Mechanobiology
Tissues are dependent on mechanical stimulation and adapt their behaviour and structure to changing loading conditions. Studies on the long bone have shown a key role of mechanical signals on the bone healing process. In the mandible, and especially for mandible reconstruction with free flaps, the interconnectivity of mechanics and biology is largely unkown.
In biomechanical studies under cyclic dynamic loading and with computer modelling (finite element analysis), we investigate the behaviour of fractures and reconstructed mandibles (free flaps) with different fixation systems and their impact on intersegmental movements and bone healing. We aim to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms in order to improve current treatment strategies and available plating systems.
Another sub-project in connection with the interconnectivity of mechanics and biology and the targeted influencing of the regeneration of the jaw joint, i.e. a part of the lower jaw, has also been funded since 2021 within the framework of an EU project (Horizon 2020 programme): https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/953169/de