Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


How Drilling Saves Lives


Dr. Ju Eun Lee


Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA


Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. Jon Colton


Drilling has been widely used in orthopaedic surgeries to correct bone fractures, implant joints, and treat bone and cartilage diseases. Each year, millions of orthopedic surgeries are performed to correct disorders and heal injuries of the musculoskeletal system, including arthritis, trauma, and congenital deformity ailments. In addition, aging of the U.S. population has caused an unprecedented increase in orthopedic surgeries with increased surgical challenges arising from the bone tissue and structure decay due to age (ie osteoporosis). The total medical cost associated with osteoporosis is estimated to exceed $50 billion per year, and is projected to triple by 2040. When operating on bones, the mechanical and thermal damage from the drilling process leads to complications like bone cracks, drill-bit breakage, and cell death (thermal necrosis). Therefore, without careful attention to the mechanical and thermal issues, bone drilling can cause considerable damage to the musculoskeletal system, reducing surgical effectiveness and lengthening the post-operation recovery time. While some efforts have been spent on empirically understanding the bone drilling process, an experimentally-validated thermo-mechanical model of bone drilling does not exist. In this talk, a comprehensive investigation including analysis, modeling, simulation and experimentation of thermo-mechanical aspects to bone drilling will be presented. Specifically, I will talk about thermo-mechanical bone drilling models for temperature and force, and their experimental validations.


Dr. JuEun Lee earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Korea University, a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Seoul National University, a MS in Industrial and Operations Engineering from University of Michigan, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. After completing her PhD, she has been a postdoctoral research associate at Carnegie Mellon University. Her pre-doctoral research focused on i) medical image processing to develop tracing boundary schemes at sub-pixel levels for more reliably detection of disease lesions, ii) analysis of human body movements under vehicle vibration, iii) investigation of eye-body coordination, and iv) biomedical analysis of human posture for medical rehabilitation. Since joining Carnegie Mellon University, her research seeks to comprehensively investigate the bone drilling process towards reducing complications, and improving orthopaedic surgery outcomes.