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E Hong (Ryan) Tiew

Project title

Development of safety envelopes for osseointegrated implant failsafe mechanisms


Professor Peter Lee, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Melbourne

Associate Professor David Ackland, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Melbourne

Ryan has always been passionate about science and technology and its impact on improving people's lives.  After completing a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University, USA. He worked as a research assistant at the university with Professor Manoj Srinivasan's lab studying bipedal locomotion. He later went on to work in product development at a medical device company for a year.  It was then he realised that he wanted to further his career in research and development and decided to pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering at The University of Melbourne.

Ryan’s project focuses on the betterment of failsafe mechanisms of osseointegrated implants in transfemoral amputees. Osseointegration is the direct fixation of load bearing implants to the bone. For transfemoral amputees, the implant is directly attached to the residual femur. In high loading conditions, such as a fall, implant loosening and periprosthetic fractures may occur as loads are directly transferred from the prosthesis to the implant and the bone. Failsafe mechanisms address this issue by detaching prosthesis from implant when a certain threshold of loading is observed. However, issues still remain where these failsafe mechanisms are sometimes activated at improper times and the engineering design of said failsafe also remains a challenge due to tight safety margins. This is because loading conditions at the bone-implant interface are still not fully understood, especially in adverse events such as falling. Ryan’s project aims to address these issues by studying said loads and developing a safety envelope in which these failsafe mechanisms can safely operate in.

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