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Review Article

Multiscale Contribution of Bone Tissue Material Property Heterogeneity to Trabecular Bone Mechanical Behavior

[+] Author and Article Information
Ashley A. Lloyd

Department of Materials Science
and Engineering,
Cornell University,
B60 Bard Hall,
Ithaca, NY 14853
e-mail: aal99@cornell.edu

Zhen Xiang Wang

Department of Materials Science
and Engineering,
Cornell University,
B60 Bard Hall,
Ithaca, NY 14853
e-mail: zw55@cornell.edu

Eve Donnelly

Assistant Professor
Department of Materials Science
and Engineering,
Cornell University,
227 Bard Hall,
Ithaca, NY 14853
Hospital for Special Surgery,
535 E. 70th Street,
New York, NY 10021
e-mail: eve.donnelly@cornell.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received June 11, 2014; final manuscript received November 5, 2014; accepted manuscript posted November 12, 2014; published online December 10, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Blaine Christiansen.

J Biomech Eng 137(1), 010801 (Jan 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: BIO-14-1256; doi: 10.1115/1.4029046 History: Received June 11, 2014; Revised November 05, 2014; Accepted November 12, 2014; Online December 10, 2014

Heterogeneity of material properties is an important potential contributor to bone fracture resistance because of its putative contribution to toughness, but establishing the contribution of heterogeneity to fracture risk is still in an incipient stage. Experimental studies have demonstrated changes in distributions of compositional and nanomechanical properties with fragility fracture history, disease, and pharmacologic treatment. Computational studies have demonstrated that models with heterogeneous material properties predict apparent stiffness moderately better than homogeneous models and show greater energy dissipation. Collectively, these results suggest that microscale material heterogeneity affects not only microscale mechanics but also structural performance at larger length scales.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Diagram of the physiologically relevant length scales at which to measure heterogeneity in trabecular bone. This review focuses on heterogeneity at the millimeter-scale (bulk tissue), the mesoscale (single trabeculae), and the microscale. Techniques that can be used to assess both mechanical and compositional properties of bone are included, along with the length scale at which they are relevant. Adapted with permission from Ref. [8], License No. 3480580167028.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Representative FTIR images and pixel histograms of collagen maturity in trabeculae from perimenopausal women without history of fragility fracture (−Fx) and with history of fragility fracture (+Fx). The mean and the full width at half maximum values of the Gaussian fits to the distributions are indicated on each histogram.

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