The effective elastic properties of human trabecular bone may be approximated using micro-finite element analyses of embedded volume elements.
Boundary conditions (BCs) and sample size affect the measured elastic properties of cancellous bone. Samples too small to be representative appear stiffer under kinematic uniform BCs (KUBCs) than under periodicity-compatible mixed uniform BCs (PMUBCs). To avoid those effects, we propose to determine the effective properties of trabecular bone using an embedded configuration. Cubic samples of various sizes (2.63, 5.29, 7.96, 10.58 and 15.87mm) were cropped from μCT scans of femoral heads and vertebral bodies. They were converted into μFE models and their stiffness tensor was established via six uniaxial and shear load cases. PMUBCs- and KUBCs-based tensors were determined for each sample. “In situ” stiffness tensors were also evaluated for the embedded configuration, i.e. when the loads were transmitted to the samples via a layer of trabecular bone. The Zysset–Curnier model accounting for bone volume fraction and fabric anisotropy was fitted to those stiffness tensors, and model parameters ν0 (Poisson’s ratio) E0 and μ0 (elastic and shear moduli) were compared between sizes. BCs and sample size had little impact on ν0. However, KUBCs- and PMUBCs-based E0 and μ0, respectively, decreased and increased with growing size, though convergence was not reached even for our largest samples. Both BCs produced upper and lower bounds for the in situ values that were almost constant across samples dimensions, thus appearing as an approximation of the effective properties. PMUBCs seem also appropriate for mimicking the trabecular core, but they still underestimate its elastic properties (especially in shear) even for nearly orthotropic samples.
Karol Daszkiewicz, Ghislain Maquer, Philippe Zysset. (2017). The effective elastic properties of human trabecular bone may be approximated using micro-finite element analyses of embedded volume elements.. Biomechanics And Modeling In Mechanobiology, 16(3), 731-742. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10237-016-0849-3
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