The goal of this project was to develop a bilateral rigid sternal fixation testing system to measure bone separation and screw loosening of bisected sternal halves. Custom fixtures and program were created to test using the Instron. Bone separation and screw loosening were measured to analyze the effectiveness of hardware types to minimize them. Unicortical and bicortical configurations were found to perform similarly in polyurethane bone. Unicortical configurations performed better in cadaveric tissue. Screws of 2.3mm diameter seem to perform better than 2.0 and 2.7mm diameter. Standard and locking plates comparably minimized bone separation and screw loosening. The results of this research provide a basis for future research in rigid sternal fixation systems.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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