Mechanics of linear microcracking in trabecular bone

Max A. Hammond, Joseph M. Wallace, Matthew R. Allen, Thomas Siegmund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Microcracking in trabecular bone is responsible both for the mechanical degradation and remodeling of the trabecular bone tissue. Recent results on trabecular bone mechanics have demonstrated that bone tissue microarchitecture, tissue elastic heterogeneity and tissue-level mechanical anisotropy all should be considered to obtain detailed information on the mechanical stress state. The present study investigated the influence of tissue microarchitecture, tissue heterogeneity in elasticity and material separation properties and tissue-level anisotropy on the microcrack formation process. Microscale bone models were executed with the extended finite element method. It was demonstrated that anisotropy and heterogeneity of the bone tissue contribute significantly to bone tissue toughness and the resistance of trabecular bone to microcrack formation. The compressive strain to microcrack initiation was computed to increase by a factor of four from an assumed homogeneous isotropic tissue to an assumed anisotropic heterogenous tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Jan 23 2019


  • Anisotropy
  • Heterogeneity
  • Microcracking
  • Stress analysis
  • Trabecular bone
  • XFEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation

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