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Technol Health Care. 1998 Dec;6(5-6):413-20.

Assessment of cancellous bone mechanical properties from micro-FE models based on micro-CT, pQCT and MR images.

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Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zürich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).


Recently, new micro-finite element (micro-FE) techniques have been introduced to calculate cancellous bone mechanical properties directly from high-resolution images of its internal architecture. Also recently, new peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques have been developed that can create images of whole bones in vivo with enough detail to visualize the internal cancellous bone architecture. In this study we aim to investigate if the calculation of cancellous bone mechanical properties from micro-FE models based on such new pQCT and MR images is feasible. Three bone specimens were imaged with the pQCT scanning system and the MR-imaging system. The specimens were scanned a second time using a micro-CT scanner with a much higher resolution. Digitized reconstructions were made based on each set of images and converted to micro-FE models from which the bone elastic properties were calculated. It was found that the results of both the pQCT and the MR-based FE-models compared well to those of the more accurate micro-CT based models in a qualitative sense, but correction factors will be needed to get accurate values.

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