Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Masters of Civil Engineering Degree


Civil And Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Owusu-danquah, Josiah

Second Advisor

Dr. Lutful I. Khan

Third Advisor

Dr. Jacqueline M. Jenkins


The utilization of implants for bone immobilization has given the surgeon ways of internal fixation and stabilization during bone healing. Although old fixations tools such as plates and screws are often the preferred choice for fracture fixation, there are many surgical situations where those types of fixations are not appropriate due to the lack of bone space to allow for multiple implants for needed stability, therefore resulting ideal environments for the use of bone staples. Such staples will compress across a fracture site to provide stabilization and immobilization of fractures for of small bones, such as in the foot, ankle and the backbone. In the past, performance assessment of these fixation devices relied on experimental testing. Considering that there are several types of bones staples presently available on the market, using such traditional means of evaluation can become tedious, if not expensive. Finite Element Method (FEM) provides a viable approach to address this concern. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of NiTinol shape memory alloy staple and Titanium staple by using FEM to monitor the contact forces applied by these staples across a simulated fracture site. More importantly, the work focused on assessing the long-term performance of these biomedical devices. The results of this study indicated that the model-predicted contact forces were close to experimental measurements in the literature. In particular, the NiTinol staple was found to generate higher and dynamic compression forces due to its rate-dependent inverse relaxation property. The increasing contact force over a waiting period signifies an accelerated healing process for small fractures and osteotomies using NiTinol bone staples. This interesting finding in the study presents the need for further research involving novel fracture fixation devices that permit minimally invasive surgical procedures.