Fabric-mechanical property relationships of trabecular bone allografts are altered by supercritical CO2 treatment and gamma sterilization

Schwiedrzik, Johann Jakob; Kaudela, K.-H.; Burner, U.; Zysset, Philippe (2011). Fabric-mechanical property relationships of trabecular bone allografts are altered by supercritical CO2 treatment and gamma sterilization. Bone, 48(6), pp. 1370-1377. Elsevier 10.1016/j.bone.2011.03.768

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Tissue grafts are implanted in orthopedic surgery every day. In order to minimize infection risk, bone allografts are often delipidated with supercritical CO2 and sterilized prior to implantation. This treatment may, however, impair the mechanical behavior of the bone graft tissue. The goal of this study was to determine clinically relevant mechanical properties of treated/sterilized human trabecular bone grafts, e.g. the apparent modulus, strength, and the ability to absorb energy during compaction. They were compared with results of identical experiments performed previously on untreated/fresh frozen human trabecular bone from the same anatomical site (Charlebois, 2008). We tested the hypothesis that the morphology–mechanical property relationships of treated cancellous allografts are similar to those of fresh untreated bone. The morphology of the allografts was determined by μCT. Subsequently, cylindrical samples were tested in unconfined and confined compression. To account for various morphologies, the experimental data was fitted to phenomenological mechanical models for elasticity, strength, and dissipated energy density based on bone volume fraction (BV/TV) and the fabric tensor determined by MIL. The treatment/sterilization process does not appear to influence bone graft stiffness. However, strength and energy dissipation of the bone grafts were found to be significantly reduced by 36% to 47% and 66% to 81%, respectively, for a broad range of volume fraction (0.14 < BV/TV < 0.39) and degree of anisotropy (1.24 < DA < 2.18). Since the latter properties are strongly dominated by BV/TV, the clinical consequences of this reduction can be compensated by using grafts with lower porosity. The data of this study suggests that an increase of 5–10% in BV/TV is sufficient to compensate for the reduced post-yield mechanical properties of treated/sterilized bone in monotonic compression. In applications where graft stiffness needs to be matched and strength is not a concern, treated allograft with the same BV/TV as an appropriate fresh bone graft may be used.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Schwiedrzik, Johann Jakob, Zysset, Philippe


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Johann Jakob Schwiedrzik

Date Deposited:

11 Jul 2014 15:44

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:28

Publisher DOI:




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