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Int J Fatigue. 2010 Sep 1;32(9):1400-1412.

FATIGUE OF BIOMATERIALS: HARD TISSUES.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250.

Abstract

The fatigue and fracture behavior of hard tissues are topics of considerable interest today. This special group of organic materials comprises the highly mineralized and load-bearing tissues of the human body, and includes bone, cementum, dentin and enamel. An understanding of their fatigue behavior and the influence of loading conditions and physiological factors (e.g. aging and disease) on the mechanisms of degradation are essential for achieving lifelong health. But there is much more to this topic than the immediate medical issues. There are many challenges to characterizing the fatigue behavior of hard tissues, much of which is attributed to size constraints and the complexity of their microstructure. The relative importance of the constituents on the type and distribution of defects, rate of coalescence, and their contributions to the initiation and growth of cracks, are formidable topics that have not reached maturity. Hard tissues also provide a medium for learning and a source of inspiration in the design of new microstructures for engineering materials. This article briefly reviews fatigue of hard tissues with shared emphasis on current understanding, the challenges and the unanswered questions.

PMID:
20563239
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2885799
Free PMC Article
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