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Rotary ultrasonic bone drilling: improved pullout strength and reduced damage

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journal contribution
posted on 09.02.2017, 14:01 by Vishal Gupta, Pulak M. Pandey, Vadim SilberschmidtVadim Silberschmidt
Bone drilling is one of the most common operations used to repair fractured parts of bones. During a bone drilling process, microcracks are generated on the inner surface of the drilled holes that can detrimentally affect osteosynthesis and healing. This study focuses on the investigation of microcracks and pullout strength of cortical-bone screws in drilled holes. It compares conventional surgical bone drilling (CSBD) with rotary ultrasonic bone drilling (RUBD), a novel approach employing ultrasonic vibration with a diamond-coated hollow tool. Both techniques were used to drill holes in porcine bones in an in-vitro study.Scanning electron microscopy was used to observe microcracks and surface morphology. The results obtained showed a significant decrease in the number and dimensions of microcracks generated on the inner surface of drilled holes with the RUBD process in comparison to CSBD. It was also observed that a higher rotational speed and a lower feed rate resulted in lower damage, i.e. fewer microcracks. Biomechanical axial pullout strength of a cortical bone screw inserted into a hole drilled with RUBD was found to be much higher (55–385%) than that for CSBD.


This study is financially funded and supported by the EPSRC- DST project “Modelling of Advanced Materials for Simulation of Transformative Manufacturing Process (MAST)”.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Medical Engineering & Physics


GUPTA, V., PANDEY, P.M. and SILBERSCHMIDT, V.V., 2017. Rotary ultrasonic bone drilling: improved pullout strength and reduced damage. Medical Engineering & Physics, 41, pp.1-8


Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IPEM (© the authors)


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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This article is published by Elsevier as Open Access under a CC BY 4.0 licence.





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