Canada Research Chair in Skeletal Reconstruction
Tier 2 - 2005-03-01
Université de Sherbrooke
Natural Sciences and Engineering
819-821-8000 poste 61344
Exploring the biomechanics of stabilizing osteoporotic bone with medical cement.
The research is developing guidelines, techniques, biomaterials, and/or devices for a safe cement injection procedure.
Stabilizing Weak Bones
As our population ages and life expectancy increases, osteoporosis is expected to escalate. Already almost one in four Canadians over the age of 60 is afflicted by osteoporosis, a disease where the bones become weak. Fractures are the most common complication linked to this degenerative disease. Unfortunately, however, we don't have an effective treatment for most of these fractures.
Canada Research Chair Dr. Gamal Baroud is involved in the effort to help treat people with weak bones. He studies the underlying biomechanisms of vertebroplasty, a new procedure for treating fractures of the vertebrae. In this minimally invasive procedure, doctors inject bone cement into the bone cavities to stabilize the weakened bone.
Working with mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, and orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Baroud is trying to make the cement augmentation process safer and more predictable. To do this, he and his team break down the process into its components, which they then analyze, using a wide array of methods ranging from mathematical models and computer simulations to laboratory testing.
Dr. Baroud's present research is directed at overcoming a variety of challenges. One such challenge is the need to control the spread of cement in the bone so that it expands uniformly, instead of leaking out of the vertebral body. Another is the development of new biomaterials. It is Dr. Baroud's intention to find simple yet effective solutions - such as guidelines, techniques, biomaterials, and/or devices - based on a thorough understanding of the biomechanisms of cement injection. He hopes that eventually vertebroplasty will be extended to other anatomical locations, such as the hip, wrist, and leg, and that cement augmentation itself may be used as a preventative treatment.