Stress analysis in a bone fracture fixed with topology‐optimised plates

Abdulsalam Abdulaziz Al-Tamimi, Carlos Quental, João Folgado, Chris Peach, Paulo Jorge Da Silva Bartolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The design of commercially available fixation plates and the materials used for their fabrication lead to the plates being stiffer than bone. Consequently, commercial plates are prone to induce bone stress shielding. In this study, three-dimensional fixation plates are designed using topology optimisation aiming to reduce the risk of bone stress shielding. Fixation plate designs were optimised by minimising the strain energy for three levels of volume reduction (i.e. 25%, 45% and 75%). To evaluate stress shielding, changes in bone stress due to the different fixation plate designs were determined on the fracture plane of an idealised shaft of a long bone under a four-point bending load considering the effect of a patient walking with crutches of a transverse fractured tibia. Topology optimisation is a viable approach to design less stiff plates with adequate mechanical strength considering high volume reductions, which consequently increased the stress transferred to the bone fracture plane minimising bone stress shielding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-699
Number of pages7
JournalBiomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology
Early online date24 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Fixation plates
  • Stress analysis
  • Stress shielding
  • Topology optimisation


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