Journal article

High-speed photography of human trabecular bone during compression

The mechanical properties of healthy and diseased bone tissue are extensively studied in mechanical tests. Most of this research is motivated by the immense costs of health care and social impacts due to osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and the aged. Osteoporosis results in bone loss and change of trabecular architecture, causing a decrease in bone strength. To address the problem of assessing local failure behavior of bone, we combined mechanical compression testing of trabecular bone samples with high-speed photography. In this exploratory study, we investigated healthy, osteoarthritic, and osteoporotic human vertebral trabecular bone compressed at high strain rates simulating conditions experienced in individuals during falls. Apparent strains were found to translate to a broad range of local strains. Moreover, strained trabeculae were seen to whiten with increasing strain. We hypothesize that the effect seen is due to microcrack formation in these areas, similar to stress whitening seen in synthetic polymers. From the results of a motion energy filter applied to the recorded movies, we saw that the whitened areas are, presumably, also of high deformation. We believe that this method will allow further insights into bone failure mechanisms, and help toward a better understanding of the processes involved in bone failure.


    Times Cited: 0

    Fratzl, P Landis, WJ Wang, R Silver, FH

    Symposium on Structure and Mechanical Behavior of Biological Materials held at the 2005 MRS Spring Meeting

    MAR 29-31, 2005

    San Francisco, CA


    Record created on 2010-11-05, modified on 2016-08-08


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