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case study | biomechanics

Harpoon helps with traumatology research in Spain

While military applications and crash simulations have long been hot areas for computational solid mechanics, advanced computer software is bringing biomechanics – with its highly complex structures and morphologies – further into the fold. The use of mechanical analysis techniques in cell biology, the nervous system and even dental implants and fillings is benefiting from timesaving advances in Harpoon, the extreme mesher, developed by Manchester-based, Sharc.

The group for structures and material modelling at the university of Zaragoza , Spain is also an advocate of Harpoon. The main research line is the numerical analysis and modelling of hard and soft tissues, focussing on applications to traumatology. The group has published models for internal and external bone remodelling, and analysed the influence of different kinds of prosthesis for proximal and distal femoral and tibial injuries, as well as knee arthoraplasty.

Realistic model geometry is acquired through CT/MRI and reconstructed using custom software. So far, the resulting geometric models have been meshed manually as no automatic meshing tool provided the kind if all-hex meshes needed for the models. These meshes are typically very costly in terms of meshing time – typically two to six months for a whole model, depending on analyst experience and underlying geometry. With Harpoon, models can be built in about a week. Different mesh densities and local refinements are also possible, which means that previously difficult modifications such as per-patient analysis of interventional alternatives are achievable.

Fernando Cacho, research assistant and PhD candidate at GEMM comments: “The software is very stable in each of the individual sections, and I love the mesh checking feature with geometry clipping – it’s unique to Harpoon as far as I know. Also, meshing speed is jaw dropping, specially with the high quality meshes it achieves.”