Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Guigen Zhang


The equine racing industry is one of the main proponents in Kentucky’s economic infrastructure. In this industry there has come a need to investigate the nature of the proximal sesamoid bone (PSB). Breakdowns involving the PSBs are the leading cause in racehorse deaths in the industry, with still little known about what causes this bone to fracture. This study seeks to shed insight by investigating the internal structure of the PSB. Using microCT scanning, the internal porous structure was captured. From there, noticeable differences in the pores were noticed and quantified using fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis.

The dominant peak frequencies in each FFT spectrum hold information about the pore size and pore repeating pattern for each of selected window for the FFT analysis. The dominant peak distribution shape was characterized by a confidence ellipse for each FFT spectrum. The size of the ellipse in the frequency domain holds information that can be converted to the spatial domain to characterize the size and spacing of the porous network within the PSB.

The findings of this study show interesting implications for the idea that the PSB is regionally changing the internal nature of the bone which lead to changes in structural integrity. It was observed that there were regional differences in the fracture types that could correspond with their specific fracture. A linear mixed model statistical analysis was used on the data, and it was shown that some biological factors are only shown to be significant in certain areas and not in others, while some factors are also only shown to affect the angle of the bone and not the size of the bone. Looking at the specific differences and biological factor effects, we can pinpoint which regions are experiencing changing due to the specific factors.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Endowed Fund, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 2019-2022