Faculty Advisor

Billiar, Kristen

Project Center

University of Massachusetts Medical Center


Failure to properly close the sternum after a sternotomy can lead to complications. Current sternal fixation devices, including screw and plate systems, reduce the risk of complications but are unable to provide a flush fit with the sternum and prevent screw loosening. The first goal of this study was to optimize a screw and plate system that addresses this issue. The system utilizes a lag-lock mechanism that permits locking of the screw after the plate is flush fit with the bone. The second goal was to design and characterize a sternal model to mimic the mechanical properties of bone. It was characterized using axial and lateral pullout tests and compared to a standard bone model. In testing, the custom model performed similar to how bone is expected to, making it a better sternal model.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2013


Biomedical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biomedical Engineering

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