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J Biomech. 1998 Jul;31(7):579-86.

An energy dissipation-based model for damage stimulated bone adaptation.

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  • 1RR&D Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1200, USA.


Based on experimental observations, several researchers have proposed a role for damage processes in stimulating an adaptive response in bone. In the current study we propose a model for bone adaptation based on cyclic energy dissipation as a measure of bone damage creation. By reanalyzing the fatigue data of Pattin et al. (1996), we derive a uniaxial form of the damage based formulation applicable to cortical regions experiencing primarily longitudinal stresses. Because of the experimentally observed difference between damage formation under tension and compression (Pattin et al., 1996), this formulation naturally predicts a difference in the adaptive response to tensile and compressive loading. This feature distinguishes the new formulation from existing strain energy based adaptation theories which treat tensile and compressive strains identically. Thus, developmental adaptation in response to unequal generation of damage provides one possible explanation for the experimentally observed difference between peak tensile and compressive bone surface strains.

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