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Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center (DBEC)


The Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center is a collaborative effort that combines materials research, engineering design, and orthopaedic implant evaluation and application in an interactive teaching environment. Since the early 1970s, the Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center has evaluated more than 11,000 retrieved orthopaedic devices. Each retrieved device is examined visually, photographed, and rated for clinical damage. Additional material-specific testing is done to assess and understand the observed changes in the devices that occur in vivo.

The response of biomaterials to patient demands reveals strengths and weaknesses of both the materials themselves and the design of the components in which they are used. The insights generated through formal assessment of the changes in these materials and devices provide the means to improve patient outcomes, which is the primary goal of the Dartmouth Biomedical Engineering Center.

Over the last 30 years DBEC has examined over 9000 orthopedic implants sent to us by more than 900 surgeons. You are invited to send your retrieved orthopaedic implants to our laboratory for an analysis and report, complete with digital photographs, provided at no cost to you. http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/dbec/Dartmouth-Retrieval-Form.pdf

Current research projects include:

Damage vs. Wear in Knees - An Important Distinction
Tibial Spine Integrity in Posterior Stabilized Knees
Understanding the (Historical) Properties of UHMWPE - What's in Those Millions of Patients?
In-vivo Oxidation Measurement
Accelerated Aging of Polyethylene
Transvinylene Index (TVI) as a Marker
Cross-linked Polyethylenes: Hot Competitors in the Marketplace
Ceramic-on-Ceramic Hips - The Squeaky Wheel?
Metal-on-Metal Hips - Is Corrosion Affecting the Latest Generation?
Corrosion of Modular Interfaces in Arthroplasty Devices




  • Jung microtome ( Microtome )

    A Jung microtome (Jung, Heidelberg, Germany) for thin sectioning UHMWPE (approximately 200 µm thick).

  • Orthopaedic Hip Related Devices ( Medical device )

    The Dartmouth Collection of Hips includes acetabular bearings (polymer, metal, and ceramic), acetabular shells (including extensive examples of different ingrowth systems), femoral heads (metal and ceramic), and femoral stems. The library includes resurfacings, monoblock components, modular devices, and devices with multiple poles. The collection of bearings includes nearly every polymer treatment employed since 1976.

  • Orthopaedic Knee Related Devices ( Medical device )

    The Dartmouth Collection of Knees includes femoral components, tibial trays, tibial inserts, and patellae. The library includes a variety of ingrowth surfaces, augments, modular components, and polymer bearing approaches. The collection of bearings includes nearly every polymer treatment employed since 1976.

  • Perkin Elmer AutoImage Infrared Microscope ( Microscope )

    The PerkinElmer Spectrum™ Spotlight™ 300 is the best-in-class infrared imaging system, allowing large sample areas to be analyzed in minutes and seconds, rather than hours. Its high sensitivity allows the smallest samples to be detected, while its IR imaging speed improves problem-solving time and redefines maximum measurement areas, revealing information not previously available, and extending IR analysis to many new applications.

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Last updated: 2013-03-19T17:55:02.331-04:00

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The eagle-i Consortium is supported by NIH Grant #5U24RR029825-02 / Copyright 2016