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Role of Mechanics in Medical Implant Industry
I believe that questions Zhigang raised today worth discussing as a topic within this forum. I will start and please comment.
The traditional roles of mechanics in the medical implant industry is to ensure safety through reliability assessment and to prove functionality through in-vitro testing.
Things are changing, in mid-90s, Charley Taylor and his colleagues pioneered "predictive medicine" and "simulation-based medical planning" in which they uses CFD to help making surgical decisions. Professor Taylor's research in "predictive medicine" and "simulation-based medical planning" has been featured on several television and radio programs including Quantum, Beyond 2000, New Media News, and The Osgood Files and has appeared in Discover, Mechanical Engineering, Technology Review and The Scientist magazines. (statement directly from his web site). Mechanics goes into the prediction of medicine performances.
To be specific, stent industry need new predictive analysis and test systems to address the mechanical durability of the stent. "We know far more better on materials and mechanics of stent than we know about anatomy" (Tom Duerig, NDC, A Johnson and Johnson Company). It's hard to design a safe stent without knowing what the environment it goes into. I believe that many other ares of medical implants are facing the similar challenges. This is the area that need the most attention because we think it's medical doctor's job and they think it's ours.