Indirect determination of trabecular bone effective tissue failure properties using micro-finite element simulations

E. Verhulp, B. Rietbergen, van, R. Müller, R. Huiskes

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Trabecular bone strength is marked not only by the onset of local yielding, but also by post-yield behavior. To study and predict trabecular bone elastic and yield properties, micro-finite element (micro-FE) models were successfully applied. However, trabecular bone strength predictions require micro-FE models incorporating post-yield behavior of trabecular bone tissue. Due to experimental difficulties, such data is currently not available. Here we used micro-FE modeling to determine failure behavior of trabecular bone tissue indirectly, by iteratively fitting FE simulation to experimental results. Failure parameters were fitted to an isotropic plasticity model based on Hill's yield function, using materially and geometrically nonlinear micro-FE models of seven bovine trabecular bone specimens. The predictive value of the averaged effective tissue properties was subsequently tested. The results showed that compression softening had to be included on the tissue level in order to accurately describe the apparent-level behavior of the bone specimens. A sensitivity study revealed that the simulated response was less sensitive to variations in the post-yield properties of the bone tissue than variations in the elastic and yield properties. Due to fitting of the tissue properties, apparent-level behavior could be accurately reproduced for each specimen separately. Predictions based on the averaged and fixed tissue properties were less accurate, due to inter-specimen variations in the tissue properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1479-1485
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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