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Hydraulics at Work in Spinal Implant Testing

Mon, 08/15/2005 - 9:04am
Mechanical and biomedical engineers at Purdue University have developed specialized hydraulic machines and software to help the industry create better and longer lasting implants for people suffering from spinal injuries, disease, and age-related wear. The engineers are using the machines to test implants for both the lower back and cervical spine.

"Creating implants for the spine presents interesting challenges, different from those encountered in implants for other parts of the body such as the hips and knees," said Eric Nauman, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. The implants are attached to spines from cadavers, which are then tested in a spine simulator, a hydraulic machine that recreates the spine's natural movements and shows how the implants stand up to everyday activities.Information: www.purdue.edu.
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