Connectivity and the elastic properties of cancellous bone

J. Kabel, A. Odgaard, B. Rietbergen, van, H.W.J. Huiskes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)
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This study addresses the possible significance of trabecular connectivity for the mechanical quality of cancellous bone. A total of 141 cubic trabecular bone specimens collected from autopsy material from 56 individuals without any known bone or metastatic diseases were used. Age variation was in the range of 14-91 years and a wide range of trabecular architecture was found. Each specimen was three-dimensionally reconstructed with a voxel size of either 20 or 25 microm. Using the detailed three-dimensional reconstructions as input for microstructural finite-element models, the complete elastic properties of the trabecular architecture were obtained and maximum and mean stiffness could be calculated. Volume fraction and true three-dimensional architectural measurements of connectivity density and surface density were determined. Connectivity density was determined in an unbiased manner by the Euler number, which is a topological property. Using multiple regression analysis it was found that volume fraction explained by far the greatest part (84%-94%) of the variation in both mean and maximum stiffness. When connectivity density and surface density were included, the correlations increased marginally to 89%-95%. Noticeably negative regression coefficients were found for connectivity density. The results suggest that, in normal cancellous bone, the connectivity density has very limited value for assessment of elastic properties by morphological variables, but if a relation exists then stiffness decreases with increasing connectivity. [Journal Article; In English; United States]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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