MSE Research Project Database

Development and evaluation of a novel temporomandibular joint replacement


Project Leader: David Ackland
Staff: Peter Lee
Collaborators: George Dimitroulis (St Vincent's Hospital),
Sponsors: OMX Solutions Pty Ltd
Primary Contact: David Ackland (dackland@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: arthritis; biomechanics; joint replacement; magnetic resonance imaging MRI; musculoskeletal modelling
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) plays a pivotal role in the function of the lower jaw during chewing and talking. Osteoarthritis (OA) of the TMJ is a degenerative disease of the jaw joint characterised by breakdown of the articular cartilage, architectural changes in bone and degeneration of the synovial tissues. Ultimately, this results in pain and jaw movement dysfunction. Total joint replacement surgery is the established treatment for end stage OA of the TMJ. At present, there are few prosthetic TMJ replacements on the market, with current designs frequently aligning poorly with patient anatomy and presenting a high risk of intra-operative nerve damage. The aim of this project is to design and test a novel 3D-printed prosthetic total joint replacement system for theTMJ, addressing the current design limitations. The functional performance of the prosthesis will be quantified using a combination of finite element modelling and cadaveric experiments. This multidisciplinary project, in collaboration with St.Vincent’s Hospital, will combine image processing, musculoskeletal modelling and finite element simulation. A new and effective TMJ replacement will have significant commercial prospects in the orthopaedic industry.