Dong Zhao, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., has won the student paper competition sponsored by ASTM International Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices. The paper, "Computational Wear Prediction of UHMWPE in Knee Replacements," focuses on multibody dynamic contact model to predict the damage sustained by two tibial inserts tested under different conditions on an AMTI knee simulator machine. The paper's two coauthors are W. Gregory Sawyer and Dr. Benjamin J. Fregly.
The award is coordinated with the topic of a symposium sponsored by Committee F04 every fall, and the competition is open to any students. The winning manuscript is considered for publication along with the other papers presented at the symposium.
Zhao, a native of Anshan, China, is currently working on dynamic contact model and damage model development, in vivo human knee joint load distribution analyses, and computer simulations of knee simulator machines. The in vivo study being conducted will help people understand the development of osteoarthritis in the knee, and the computational wear predictions, which are more inexpensive and faster than simulator machine studies, have potential for improving implant designs.
In 1999, Zhao earned his B.S. mechanical engineering from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and his M.S. in robotics in 2002. His exposure to bioengineering-oriented robot projects interested him in a long-term goal of designing medical and orthopaedic devices for patients, and in computer simulations to improve the design process of mechanical and electronic systems.