Can Patient-specific Finite Element Models Enter Clinical Practice as a Decision Support System?

Document Type : EDITORIAL


1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

2 Orthopedic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran



The finite element method (FEM) is an engineering tool to assess the mechanical behavior of a structure under applied loads. This method was first applied for stress analysis of mechanical structures in the late 1950s. Later on, this new method got the application in biomedical engineering by analyzing the mechanical behavior of human femora. With the advent of faster computers, more advanced imaging modalities, and better FE software resulting in increased sophistication in 3D modeling, FE models have been greatly improved and the possibility of creating a FE model that can closely mimic the geometry and material properties of bones of an individual patient, so-called a patient-specific model, is accessible. The objective of this editorial is to try to elucidate the advancements in and applications of patient-specific finite element modeling and discuss whether such models can give promising results in predicting the outcome of orthopedic surgeries and enter clinical practice as a decision support system.