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Dan Nicolella 5451
08-27-1993, 08:11 AM
Thanks to everyone who replied to my inquiry concerning fracture of bone.

Here is a compilation of the responses I received.

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* Daniel Nicolella ]]]]] ]]]]]] ]]] *
* Southwest Research Institute ] ] ] ] ] ] ] *
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I am not an official spokesman for SwRI.

You may want to look at two references:

Lakes, RS, et. al, "Fracture Mechanics of bone with
short cracks," J. of Biomech, vol 23, 1990, p. 967.

Norman, TL, et. al, "Effect of groove on bone fracture toughness,"
J of Biomech, vol 25, 1992, p. 1489.

As far as I know, several people have measured the
fracture toughness of bone and you may want to
check all of the references in these two papers,
plus a more complete literature search. My thesis
was on the fracture toughness of articular cartilage,
but several points are common to measuring biological
material: toughness will vary with speed, direction
in which the material is oriented, location of where
you took the material, and species of animal. You
also want to take care how you grip the specimens.

Good luck!

Michele Chin-Purcell

Via: uk.ac.bristol.mail; Thu, 26 Aug 1993 09:34:16 +0100
From: Allen Goodship
Subject: Re: Fracture Mechanics of Bone
To: dann@subs.struct.swri.edu
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1993 09:39:03 +0100 (BST)
In-Reply-To: from "Daniel Nicolella" at Aug 25, 93 10:33:13 am
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I think it would be worth contacting Prof W Bonfield and Dr Julia Shelton

at The IRC in biomedical materials QM&W College, Mile End Road,
University of London, they have considerable experience in this field
Best wishes
Allen Goodship


Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1993 22:53:37 -0500 (CDT)
From: MEHTA01@swmed.edu
Subject: Re: Fracture Mechanics of Bone
To: dann@subs.struct.swri.edu
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i canprovide you with some general references that exist. i will not go over
the ones that are commonly referenced in teh literature: Burstein and Reilly,
for example.

1. Currey, J.D. gives a good review in Clin. Orthop and Rel. Res. 73:210-231
2. Currey, J.D. J Biomech (1987) Effect of Porosity and Mineral content on
Young's Mod. of elasticity of compact bone. He gives tension values for a
number of different species...
3. J.F. Vincent in "Biomechanics- materials: a practical approach" Oxford Univ
Press., NY. pp. 32-56. This contains some interesting tips on preparing and
testing bone specimens... Practical, as it says in the title...

There are quite a few more references available, if you look under Ashman or
Currey, or Ascenzi (small samples). Cancellous specimens were tested by Rho and

One problem is attachment of strain-gage. Surface has to be dried to attach
the acrylic based glues, might be a problem if you have very small sam

The other is slippage of clamps used to hold specimens, if your
mechanical loading equipment is home-made.. :-

These two are relatively minor problems for a gross experiment in which you
wish to measure Young's modulus, or fracture toughness. The values for ultimate
strength could be affected by orientation of intrinsic material major axes
being different from the test axis. In particular this factor is of importance
if you intend to use structural models.

One way to oversome this problem, is to scan the specimen using a critical
angle reflection ultrasound technique (pioneered by P.P ANtich, my mentor :-) )
which would enable you to select the testing axis the same as the material axis
before you proceed to cut the sample. i am planning to construct a test device
using these techniques and plan to test my specimens in tension, too.
So, while these are just some of the problems that jump into my head, i would
be glad to hear more from you too, as you proceed. Also, a compiled versoin of
the responses you receive would be quite welcome...

Thanks and good luck.
Shreefal Mehta


Look at:

Bonfield, W. Advances in the fracture mechanics of cortical bone. J.
Biomechanics 20: 1071-81, (1987) and the references within.

Arthur Brandwood. A.Brandwood@unsw.edu.au
Centre for Biomedical Engineering Phone: +61 2 697 3906
University of New South Wales Fax: +61 2 663 2108
Sydney, Australia (UNSW, PO Box 1, Kensington, NSW 2033, Australia)


From: elaine@ucski.berkeley.edu (Elaine Serina)
To: dann@subs.struct.swri.edu
Subject: Re: Fracture Mechanics of Bone

W. Bonfield has done a lot of work in this area in the 1970-1980's.
Some references:

Behiri, J.C. and Bonfield, W., J. Biomech, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 25-34, 1984.
Bonfield, W., J. Biomech., Vol. 20, No. 11/12, pp. 1071-1081, 1987.
Behiri, J.C. and Bonfield, W., J. Biomech, Vol. 22, No. 8/9, pp.863-872, 1989.

Also, you can try:
Wright, T.M., Hayes, W.C., J. Biomech., Vol.10, pp.419-430, 1977.

Good luck!

Elaine Serina


Subject: Re: Fracture Mechanics of Bone
To: dann@subs.struct.swri.edu
X-Envelope-To: dann@SUBS.STRUCT.SWRI.EDU
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Dear Dan,
I'm in a bit of a hurry now, but you should definitely start with the work of
Bonfield. I did a term paper when I was in graduate school, and his work has
been prolific in the field of fracture mechanics of bone. Sorry I don't have
time to pull the references just now, but hopefully this can get you started.

Don Anderson

Thanks again to all those who responded,

Best Regards,
Dan Nicolella