Morphology–elasticity relationships using decreasing fabric information of human trabecular bone from three major anatomical locations

Gross, Thomas; Pahr, Dieter H.; Zysset, Philippe K. (2013). Morphology–elasticity relationships using decreasing fabric information of human trabecular bone from three major anatomical locations. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 12(4), pp. 793-800. Springer 10.1007/s10237-012-0443-2

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With improving clinical CT scanning technology, the accuracy of CT-based finite element (FE) models of the human skeleton may be ameliorated by an enhanced description of apparent level bone mechanical properties. Micro-finite element (μFE) modeling can be used to study the apparent elastic behavior of human cancellous bone. In this study, samples from the femur, radius and vertebral body were investigated to evaluate the predictive power of morphology–elasticity relationships and to compare them across different anatomical regions. μFE models of 701 trabecular bone cubes with a side length of 5.3 mm were analyzed using kinematic boundary conditions. Based on the FE results, four morphology–elasticity models using bone volume fraction as well as full, limited or no fabric information were calibrated for each anatomical region. The 5 parameter Zysset–Curnier model using full fabric information showed excellent predictive power with coefficients of determination ( r2adj ) of 0.98, 0.95 and 0.94 of the femur, radius and vertebra data, respectively, with mean total norm errors between 14 and 20%. A constant orthotropy model and a constant transverse isotropy model, where the elastic anisotropy is defined by the model parameters, yielded coefficients of determination between 0.90 and 0.98 with total norm errors between 16 and 25%. Neglecting fabric information and using an isotropic model led to r2adj between 0.73 and 0.92 with total norm errors between 38 and 49%. A comparison of the model regressions revealed minor but significant (p<0.01) differences for the fabric–elasticity model parameters calibrated for the different anatomical regions. The proposed models and identified parameters can be used in future studies to compute the apparent elastic properties of human cancellous bone for homogenized FE models.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Zysset, Philippe


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








Philippe Zysset

Date Deposited:

12 May 2014 09:36

Last Modified:

12 May 2014 09:36

Publisher DOI:



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