The Acoustic and Structural Properties of the Human Femur

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Weiss

Department of Orthopedics, NJ Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103; Lab. de Rech. Orthop., Fac, de Med. Larib-St. Louis, Paris, France

M. C. Zimmerman, F. G. Alberta

Department of Orthopaedics, NJ Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103

R. D. Harten

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 07000; Department of Orthopaedics, NJ Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103

A. Meunier

Lab. de Rech. Orthop., Fac. de Med. Larib-St. Louis, Paris, France

J Biomech Eng 120(1), 71-76 (Feb 01, 1998) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2834309 History: Received July 16, 1995; Revised January 09, 1997; Online January 07, 2008


This study evaluates the variations in the acoustic properties of the human femur at ten evenly spaced locations along its length, as well as differences that exist within given transverse sections. Six pairs of human femora, three male and three female, were sectioned, ground, and polished, and scanned with a microprocessor-driven scanning acoustic microscope. Images with a resolution of approximately 140 μm were used to calculate the average acoustic impedances for each transverse cross section and each quadrant within a cross section. The mean acoustic impedance for all the cross sections was 7.69 ± 0.18 Mrayls. Variations were observed among the cross sections, and the central sections (4–7) had values that were statistically greater than the other more distal and proximal sections. Within the cross sections, the posterior quadrant had a lower average acoustic impedance compared to the other quadrants and this was statistically significant (Tukey’s multiple comparison test). The cross sections were further analyzed to determine several geometric parameters including the principal moments of inertia, polar moment of inertia, and the biomechanical shape index. The product of the acoustic impedance and the maximum moment of inertia provided a result that attempted to account for the acoustic property variation and the change in shape at the different section locations.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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