Date of Award

Summer 8-14-2015

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering


Biological Engineering


David Neivandt

Second Committee Member

Jim Weber

Third Committee Member

Anne Lichtenwalner


High rates of infection are often associated with solid implanted devices employed for reconstructive orthopedic applications. In addition, such devices, when implanted into subcutaneous tissue, do not promote functional soft tissue attachment that is critical for the surgical reconstruction of mobile joints including knees and hips. In particular, transcutaneous implants pose a unique challenge, as wounds resulting from implantation are highly likely to contract severe deep tissue infections that require the repeated administration of antibiotics post surgery. Highly porous implants constructed of materials including inert metals, plastics, and ceramics, exhibit biocompatibility and can facilitate soft tissue in-growth, achieving functional soft tissue attachment with little to no bacterial infections. As such, these devices have become desirable for a large variety of uses in orthopedic surgery. In an effort to better understand the mechanisms of soft tissue in-growth into highly porous implants, four studies (Phase I, II, III and IV) were conducted to observe the effects of implant design parameters on promoting soft tissue in-growth. Quantitative and semi-quantitative analyses of retrieved implants were performed by the use of mechanical peel tests, histological analyses, and growth factor analyses. Phases I and II employed an in-vivo canine model, and Phases III and IV employed an in-vivo rabbit model.