Swedish Neutron Education for Science & Society

Elin Törnquist, Swedish

I hold an MSc in Engineering Physics from Lund University, specializing in Biomedical Engineering. For my MSc thesis, I studied the microstructure in cortical bone by analysing X-ray microtomography images. The aim of the project was to analyse the relationship between cortical microstructure and crack propagation. Using K-means clustering I segmented out Haversian canals and osteons for analysis of porosity, distribution, and orientation. Based on the segmentations I created 2D models by fitting cylinders to the radii, lengths, and tilts of the microstructures that will be used for finite element modelling of crack propagation through the tissue.

The goal of my PhD project is to explore the potential of neutron tomographic imaging and small angle scattering in studies of bone, in order to understand bone damage and fracture mechanisms on various hierarchical levels, and with osseointegration on implants in focus. The aim is to determine if neutron tomographic imaging is preferable to X-rays when studying bone ingrowth, damage and failure around metal implants; since the high-density contrast between metal and bone often results in significant artefacts in the close proximity of the implant it is not an optimal method. Furthermore, we aim to investigate if Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) can be used to obtain relevant information about the collagen phase in bone, which is not well captured with X-rays.