Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MS Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Ranganathan, Shivakumar I.

Committee Member 1

Kadlowec, Jennifer A.

Committee Member 2

Kim, Tae Won B.


3D printing, computational model, HPLC, microchannel, orthopaedic implant, reservoir


Orthopedic implants; Antibiotics; Drug delivery devices


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Mechanical Engineering


Costs associated with musculoskeletal diseases in the United States account for 5.7 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) [1]. As such, there is a need to pursue new ideas in orthopaedic implants that can decrease cost and improve patient care. In the recent years, 3D printing using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Stereolithography (SLA) has opened several exciting possibilities to create orthopaedic implants. Such implants can be engineered to release antibiotics in a controlled manner either by infusing the drug into the material during manufacturing or by using built-in design features such as micro-channels and reservoirs [2]. The use of heat in FDM and Ultra-Violet (UV) light in SLA could impact the anti-bacterial effectiveness of antibiotics. Furthermore, the ability of 3D printed orthopaedic implants to elute antibiotics, and the rate of elution are not well understood. The objective of this thesis is threefold: i) Evaluate the efficacy of antibiotics exposed to UV light and heat; ii) Conduct numerical and experimental studies to assess drug elution through implants and iii) Perform Kirby-Bauer testing to determine whether the eluted antibiotics from 3D printed polymer and metal implants with built-in features maintain their antimicrobial property. Results indicate that antibiotics elute in a controlled manner and remain effective. Furthermore, the implant geometry can be optimized using a computational model on drug elution calibrated with real world data.