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Computational modelling became an inevitable part of the research in all scientific fields. Even though modelling cannot replace the conventional tests it can provide the insight to the tissue response, and quantification of the desired variables within the biological system, which would not be possible to obtain ‘in vivo’. The first model of a spinal segment with the USS thoraco-lumbar spinal implant simulated the behaviour of the system that was compared with available test results provided by manufacturing companies. The introduction of standards the aim of modelling in biomechanics is more oriented towards prediction of the treatment outcome or to obtain a new knowledge that cannot be achieved ‘in vivo’. Our recent simulation of the sternotomy used loads derived from simplified mathematical model of the chest, which must be confirmed by experimental measurements. The direct measurement of the force transferred to the sternum during normal respiration is not possible thus a new experiment must be designed to record kinematical data that will provide a way to another simulation to confirm the load model. Considering that all models assume in some way an idealized reality then it will take some time till we’ll reach the goal of reliable predictive models. The new challenge is to find the way how to model the multiscale hierarchical structure of biological tissues.


Funded Projects

Selected Publications

  • A. R. Casha; A. Manche; M. Gauci; M-T. Camilleri-Podesta; P. Schembri-Wismayer; Z. Sant; R. Gatt; J. N. Grima,Placement of trans-sternal wires according to an ellipsoid pressure vessel model of sternal forces,European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery-Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery
  • Romane Blanchard, Claire Morin, Alain Vella, Zdenka Sant, Christian Hellmich,Intra-voxel micro-elasto-plasticity for CT-based patient-specific fracture risk assessment of vertebrae,Proceeding of 20th International Conference ENGINEERING MECHANICS
  • Sant Z., Florian Z.,Mechanical properties of the USS lumbar spine implant,Engineering Mechanics, Vol.12
  • Z. Sant, A. Casha, J. Cilia,Can the foam model simulate the bone behaviour?,17th International Conference ENGINEERING MECHANICS
  • Zdenka Sant, Alain Vella, Romane Blanchard, Christian Hellmich,Micromechanics applied to macro-model of a spinal segment,20th International Conference ENGINEERING MECHANICS
  • Zdenka Sant, Marija Cauchi And Michelle Spiteri,Analysis of stress-strain distribution within a spinal segment,Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures


  • A. Casha, A. Manche', M. Gauci, M-T. Camilleri-Podesta, Z. Sant, B. Ellul, J. Grima,Forces across Sternotomy Closures after Cardiac Surgery,5th International Symposium on Trends in Continuum Physics
  • Florian, Z., Wendsche, P., Kotek, V., Kršek, P., Sant, Z.,Stress and Strain analysis of a degenerated spinal element,International Conference Biomechanics of Man
  • Lupi A., Sant Z.,Reverse engineering applied to a lumbar vertebra,Malta Medical Journal, Vol. 20
  • M. Cauchi, Z. Sant, M. Spiteri,Analysis of the Spinal Segment,5th International Symposium on Trends in Continuum Physics
  • Sant Z.,Mechanical properties of Thoracolumbar and Lumbar Spine Fixation Device,Edice PhD Thesis, sv.446
  • Sant Z., Florian Z., Borg J.N.,Biomechanical Analysis of Lumbar Spine Implant,Sixth Malta Medical School Conference
  • Sant Z., Florian Z., Borg J.N., Navrat T,Effect of different loads on the lumbar spine fusion,Congress of the Czech Society of Biomechanics
  • Z. Sant, M. Cauchi, M. Spiteri,The effect of degenerated intervertebral disc on the load transfer through the spinal segment,International Conference Biomechanics
  • Z. Sant, R. Blanchard, Ch. Hellmich,Micro-structure for FEA macro-model,NAMABIO, 2nd Joint Meeting
  • Zdenka Sant, Christabel Borg,FEA Analysis Of The Sternal Biomechanical Response,19th ESB Congress


Last Updated: 4 May 2015

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