Properties of growing trabecular ovine bone. Part II: architectural and mechanical properties

A Nafei, J Kabel, A Odgaard, F Linde, I Hvid


We aimed to highlight the relationship between age and the architectural properties of trabecular bone, to outline the patterns in which the variations in these properties take place, and to investigate the influence of the architecture on the mechanical properties of trabecular bone in growing animals. We studied 30 lambs in three age groups and 20 sheep in two age groups. Cubes of subchondral bone were cut from the proximal tibia according to a standardised protocol. They were serially sectioned and their architectural properties were determined. Similar cubes were obtained from the identical anatomical position of the contralateral tibia and their compressive mechanical properties measured. The values obtained from the skeletally immature and mature individuals were compared. Multiple regression analyses were performed between the architectural and the mechanical properties. The bone volume fraction, the mean trabecular volume, the architectural and the mechanical anisotropy, the elastic modulus, the bone strength, the energy absorption to failure, and the elastic energy correlated positively with increasing age whereas the connectivity density, the bone surface density, the ultimate strain, the absorption of viscoelastic energy and the relative loss of energy correlated inversely. The values of all variables were significantly different in the skeletally mature and immature groups. We determined the patterns in which the variations took place. The bone volume fraction of the trabecular bone tissue was found to be the major predictor of its compressive mechanical properties. Together with the mean trabecular volume and the bone surface density, it explained 81% of the variations in the compressive elastic modulus of specimens obtained from the contralateral tibiae.

TidsskriftThe Journal of bone and joint surgery. British volume
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)921-7
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2000
Udgivet eksterntJa


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