Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Mentor

Dhananjay T. Tambe


Arjun Dahal, Terry Ravine


Most tissues in our body are subjected to mechanical stretching, and these stimuli trigger biochemical and biophysical processes in the tissues. Such processes are responsible for tissue growth, repair, injury, and disease. This research focuses on the tissues holding the kneecap in the trochlear groove. Stretch injuries to these tissues or anatomical abnormalities in the joint cause the kneecap to dislocate from the trochlear groove. Numerous surgical treatments have been developed, each targeting a different source of kneecap dislocation. However, there is no established framework to either examine the best treatment strategy when the dislocation arises from various sources or assess the efficacy of the least invasive surgical treatment for a given patient. In collaboration with the orthopedic surgeons from USA Hospital, we have developed a mathematical model that can provide a Dislocation Tendency Index of the Kneecap (DTIK). This index focuses on kneecap dislocation in the lateral direction. DTIK can guide orthopedic surgeons in providing personalized treatment recommendations. While DTIK can address the bedside components of the problem, this information has limited benefits for the benchside components involving understanding the issues with ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The key reason for the technological gap is the lack of a versatile mechanical actuation system. Using a voice coil actuator, we have developed a Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer for Tissues (DMAT). We tested it on dental rubber bands subjected to cyclic and ramp loading. DMAT can be easily adapted to examine the mechanical behavior of various tissues, vessel rings, and cannulated vessel segments. Overall, DTIK and DMAT present examples of solutions that emerge when interdisciplinary collaboration brings problems to meet possibilities. The work presented here lays the foundation for these novel tools. Further testing and optimization will pave the way for these tools to be implemented to meet their respective bedside and benchside needs.


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Available for download on Wednesday, May 23, 2029