Finite element analysis of a micromechanical model of bone and a new 3D approach to validation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Biomechanics, 2012, 45 (15), pp. 2702 - 2705
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Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is now widely used to analyse the mechanical behaviour of bone structures. Ideally, simulations are validated against experimental data. To date, validation of Finite Element Models (FEMs) has been 2 Dimensional (2D) only, being based on comparison with surface-mounted strain gauge readings. In this study we present a novel 3-Dimensional (3D) approach to validation that allows comparison of modelled with experimental results between any two points in 3D space throughout the structure, providing magnitude and direction data for comparison, internally and externally. Specifically, we validate a FEM of a rat tibia, including trabecular network geometry, using a material testing stage housed within a microCT scanner. We further apply novel landmark based morphometric approaches to more effectively compare modelled and experimental results. 542 landmark points on the cortical and trabecular bone surfaces of the model were selected and validated in 3D against experimental data. This approach may hold considerable potential in fields wherein a better understanding of the mechanical behaviour of trabecular networks is important, e.g., the studies of osteoporosis and trabecular loss after orthopaedic implant insertion. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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