Spine Biomechanics

Chronic low back pain is a significant public health problem in industrialized society. The intact spine carries the upper body and external loads, allows motion in a physiological range and protects the spinal cord. These different demands necessitate a high degree of complexity with various sources for disorders and pain. The Julius Wolff Institute conducts research in order to counter pain causes and to further optimize the pain treatment.

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Model Validation
 and Verification

Comparison of implant loads for vertebral body replacement between simulation and in vivo measurement.
Load-deflection curves of our finite element model of the lumbar spine and of in vitro measurements.

The finite element method is a very useful tool to investigate the mechanical function of biological structures. The major advantage of this method is the analysis of every possible mechanical parameter, particularly in structural regions where it may be difficult or impossible to obtain experimental data. However, model credibility must be established before clinicians and scientists can be expected to extrapolate information based on model predictions. In other words, it must be ensured that the model is verified and validated.
In the following there is a summary of papers which describe how we performed our model verification and validation.