The Peer review has evaluated this group as Excellent
Cardiovascular devices: research in this area is mainly devoted to coronary stents and vascular grafts. Computational techniques are used in the design optimization of intravascular stents and in the comparison of the behaviour of different stent designs in terms of mechanical characteristics. The interaction of the stent with the artery is studied as well. Experimental protocols for the evaluation of the fabric design influencing the vascular prosthesis compliance and the mechanical features of the intravascular stents (flexibility, radial stiffness, fatigue life) have been developed. Dental devices: research in the dentistry field is focused on the study of the mechanical behaviour of different types of devices for implantology, endodontics and orthodontics. The aim is to evaluate the devices performance, thus providing useful information for the improvement of therapeutic treatments to both clinicians and producers. The most recent studies are mainly concerned with: computational analyses of the mechanical behaviour and reliability of endosseous dental implants, palatal arches, endodontic nitinol rotary instruments; experimental evaluation on the mechanical resistance of the fixture-abutment connection in cemented and screwed implant systems; mechanical characterisation of Nitinol orthodontic wires; experimental evaluation of the friction generated at the wire-bracket interface. Orthopaedic devices: the assessment of the biomechanical reliability of orthopaedic implants in the pre-clinical phase is a necessary step that a new device must face: this evaluation is performed using both experimental procedures and numerical techniques. Experimental tests both according to international standards and following expressly designed procedures are carried out on hip, knee and shoulder prostheses, endomedullary nails and external fixators for fracture healing. Performances of device with respect to the requirements of biological, anatomical, functional and surgical compatibility are investigated. Reconstructive surgery devices: one of the applications of the plastic surgery is an aesthetic treatment of the cutaneous tissue anomalies. Skin expansion is a technique widely used in reconstructive surgery (post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, burn care, craniofacial surgery, after tumour removal) to generate new skin. Nevertheless, the involved phenomena are not well known. Numerical models are developed in order to simulate plastic surgical procedures and to investigate the mechanism of skin adaptive growth. Experimental facilities are available for performing mechanical tests on mammary prostheses according to EN 12180. The experiments include tensile tests on the shell and compression, fatigue and wear tests on the whole implant. Spinal devices: research is focuses on development of constitutive laws for soft tissues; finite element modelling of intact, pathological and treated cervical and lumbar spinal segments; determination on the influence of the placement of interspinous stabilization devices, fusion devices and artificial intervertebral discs on the mechanics of the implanted spine; interpretation of clinical outcomes based on the results of biomechanical studies; analysis of design features of the devices and their influence on the resulting biomechanics; optimization of the device-related surgical protocols and instrumentation; evaluation of load sharing between spinal implants and vertebral bodies; development of set-ups for in-vitro evaluation of spinal fixators.
Manuela Teresa Raimondi