The Cortical Fiber System: Senior Design Team Works to Assist Patient Healing
All of the senior design teams participated in the annual Senior Design Symposium on May 15 where they presented their projects to the Ritchie School community. This year the Ritchie School hosted the symposium virtually and all of the teams worked hard to pivot and ensure that the transition from an in-person event to virtual did not disrupt their presentations.
The Cortical Fiber System team was sponsored by AlloSource.
This senior design team consisted of: Serena Shaw (BS ME) - Project Lead; Michael Stokes (BS ME) - Financial Manager; Dominick Biggs (BS ME) - CAD Engineer; Jinfeng Wu (BS CpE) - LEAD CP; Erik Salmon (BS ME) - LEAD Engineer; Kay Anderson (BS ME & Biology) - Test Engineer; Mohammad Alkamali (BS EE) - Lead EE. (Left to right)
AlloSource is one of the largest nonprofit cellular and tissue networks in the country, offering precise cellular, cartilage, bone, skin and soft-tissue allografts to advance patient healing. One such allograft is cortical bone which after being demineralized can be placed in the body to promote bone growth and healing.
Cortical Bone fibers are used for bone grafts in patients who are at an increased risk of fracture non-union (occurs when a fracture does not realign during healing). When cortical bone fibers are injected into a fracture, it provides a collagen fiber network that a bone cell (an osteoclast) can use to build new bone. Currently, there are few machines that can produce these fibers automatically, and the machines that do exist are prone to overheating and blade failure. The Cortical Fiber System senior design team was tasked by the tissue bank AlloSource with building a machine that can automatically shave fibers from a cadaveric donor that can then be processed to make cortical bone fibers for bone grafts. The team has successfully developed a design that can move automatically in three dimensions and has a detailed design for a blade and blade attachment.
Due to all of the challenges Spring quarter presented the Cortical Fiber System team focused their efforts on creating a successful prototype and were able to learn from their experiences.