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In addition to research related directly to my dissertation, I have worked on many projects relating to medical device development or basic science research.  

Development of high strength PEEK and PPP heat shrink tubing

Utilizing the shape memory behavior of PPP and PEEK polymers, I designed a method to create heat shrink tubing with high strength polymers, allowing them to slip over obstacles and shrink to provide protection against friction or wear.  Potential applications for this are in automotive piston or header protection, where the high heat environment in the engine requires high strength polymers to protect against wear of sensitive components.


Design and testing of a new prosthetic knee design

Using a 3D scanner and meshing software, I created a testing fixture for various damping materials to utilize in artificial knee replacements.  The damping material can extend the life of the implanted joint, allowing for younger patients to receive a needed replacement without worry of later revision surgery.  The picture on the right shows the knee testing a layer of Liquid Crystal Elastomer which reduces loading to the knee by up to 20% across a broad range of loading conditions.  


Analysis of compression in intramedullary nails for ankle fusion

By building a patient specific finite element model of the ankle, I analyzed the compression applied through the installation of various nails for fusing the ankle as a treatment for severe ankle pain due to arthritis or neuropathy.  I analyzed 3 types of nails made from titanium, carbon fiber, and one utilizing a new compressive rod made from Nickel-Titanium (NiTi or nitinol).  I measured compression through the tibia after bone resorption to determine if the nails would be able to maintain compression with loss of bone.  I found that the NiTi based nail maintained compression far beyond the range of the other two nails.  

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