Send to

Choose Destination
J Biomech. 2000 Mar;33(3):317-25.

Quantifying the strain history of bone: spatial uniformity and self-similarity of low-magnitude strains.

Author information

Center for Biomedical Engineering, CUNY Graduate School and Department of Mechanical Engineering, The City College of New York, NY 10031, USA.


We hypothesize that when a broad spectrum of bone strain is considered, strain history is similar for different bones in different species. Using a data collection protocol with a fine resolution, mid-diaphyseal strains were measured in vivo for both weightbearing and non-weightbearing bones in three species: dog, sheep, and turkey, with strain information collected continuously while the animals performed their natural daily activities. The daily strain history was quantified by both counting cyclic strain events (to quantify the distribution of strains of different magnitudes) and by estimating the average spectral characteristics of the strain (to quantify the frequency content of the strain signals). Counting of the daily (12-24 h) strain events show that large strains (> 1000 microstrain) occur relatively few times a day, while very small strains (< 10 microstrain) occur thousands of times a day. The lower magnitude strains (< approximately 200 microstrain) are found to be more uniform around the bone cross-section than the higher magnitude, peak strains. Strain dynamics are found to be well described by a power-law relationship and exhibit self-similar characteristics. These data lead to the suggestion that the organization of bone tissue is driven by the continual barrage of activity spanning a wide but consistent range of frequency and amplitude, and until the mechanism of bone's mechanosensory system is fully understood, all portions of bone's strain history should be considered to possibly play a role in bone adaptation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center