While the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, mechanical factors are widely reported to play a key role in dental and orthopedic implant success. We are using mechanical testing coupled with micro X-Ray computed tomography (micro-CT) to measure the deformation and strain inside trabecular bone. We are also working on the image-based micro- finite element (micro-FE) models and the numerical simulations of bone remodeling under mechanical stimulus. These results can potentially provide insights to commonly observed clinical complications and improvements in surgical planning and techniques.
The growing market drives the high demand for dental crowns restorations that are more resistant to cracking. Inspired by the cracking resistance of the natural teeth, we designed and fabricated functionally graded composite materials. The cracking loads in the bio-inspired structures were found to be ~30% greater than those in the conventional layered structures. We are now studying the fracture mechanisms in polymer-ceramic composites.
Cardiovascular disease is the biggest cause of death worldwide. Coronary stents are small structures that can keep arteries open in the treatment of coronary heart disease. To design robust drug-eluting stents satisfying FDA guidance, my research explored new ways of characterizing and modeling the adhesion of polymeric drug-containing coatings to metallic substrates.
We studied the effects of adhesion and contact for the optimization of fabrication processes for the next generation of organic electronics. Mechanical properties of the materials in solar cells and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) were characterized and incorporated into our models. The insights from our models were used to guide the successful design of pressure-assisted fabrication techniques. The current-voltage characterization of the fabricated devices showed major improvement in the operating conditions.