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Thomas L. Willett, PhD

Thomas L. Willett, PhD

Assistant Professor, Systems Design Engineering - Biomedical Engineering Program

Thomas Willett is an Assistant Professor in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo where he directs the Composite Biomaterial Systems Laboratory and contributes to the undergraduate Biomedical Engineering program and a graduate level NSERC CREATE training program in Global Biomedical Technology Research and Innovation. He has been involved in skeletal tissue mechanics research (both soft and hard tissues) for over 15 years, starting with cartilage mechanics (MASc, Queen’s University), then damage mechanisms in tendons (PhD, Dalhousie University) and a broad range of studies in bone quality and mechanics (Mount Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto). He has conducted research in the structural allograft processing area for approximately 8 years. Current research focusses on cortical bone fracture mechanics, the factors affecting cortical bone quality and mechanical properties including processing and sterilization in tissue banking, and the development of 3D printable composite biomaterials for bone reconstruction. He has published 45 peer reviewed journal articles and his laboratory has received major funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Foundational for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry for Research and Innovation.

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  • Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    In this session, from an engineer’s perspective, Prof. Willett will define bone quality and how it relates to the mechanical performance of cortical bone allograft. He will discuss the variability in and degradation of bone quality, particularly those independent of clinical bone mineral density measures, resulting from donor characteristics and disease states, processing, sterilization and implantation. Specific attention will be paid to the effects of gamma irradiation sterilization, recent progress in protecting the mechanical performance of cortical bone while still using conventional gamma irradiation sterilization, and opportunities and challenges for bone quality assessment in tissue banking.