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Fracture processes in cortical bone: effect of microstructure

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conference contribution
posted on 12.09.2017, 13:09 by Simin LiSimin Li, Mayao Wang, Xing Gao, Elizabeth A. Zimmermann, Christoph Riedel, Bjorn Busse, Vadim SilberschmidtVadim Silberschmidt
Understanding of bone fracture can improve medical and surgical procedures. Therefore, investigation of the effect of bone’s microstructure and properties as well as loading conditions on crack initiation and propagation is of great importance. In this paper, several modelling approaches are used to study fracture of cortical bone tissue at various length scales and different types of loading. Two major problems are tackled: crack propagation under impact loading and bone cutting in surgical procedures. In the former case, a micro-scale finite-element (FE) fracture model was suggested, accounting for bone’s microstructure and using X-FEM for crack-propagation analysis [1, 2]. The cortical bone tissue was modelled as four-component heterogeneous materials. The morphology of a transverse-radial cross section captured with optical microscopy was used to generate FE models; extensive experimental studies provided necessary mechanical input data [3]. The problem of bone cutting was treated within the framework of tool-bone interaction analysis [4, 5]. A two-domain approach was used, with a process zone simulated using a smooth-particle hydrodynamics method. This zone was embedded in a continuum domain with macroscopic anisotropic properties obtained in experiments. This study is supported by analysis of damage induced by interaction between the cutting tool and the bone tissue using wedge-indentation tests and considering also the anisotropic behaviour of the bone.


The authors acknowledge the financial support from EPSRC UK (Grant no. EP/G048886/1) and from the 7th European Community Framework Programme through a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) Project TAMER (Grant PIRSES-GA-2013-610547).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Advanced problem in Mechanics Advanced Problems in Mechanics


188 - 210


LI, S. ...et al., 2015. Fracture processes in cortical bone: effect of microstructure. IN: Proceedings of XLIII International Summer School Conference Advanced Problems in Mechanics (APM 2015), Russia, St. Petersburg, June 22-27, 2015, pp. 188 - 210




AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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St. Petersburg

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