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J Biomech. 1992 Apr;25(4):359-68.

The effect of specimen geometry on the mechanical behaviour of trabecular bone specimens.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University Hospital of Aarhus, Denmark.


The effect of specimen geometry on the mechanical behaviour of trabecular bone specimens was studied by non-destructive uniaxial compression to 0.4% strain using cylindrical specimens with different sizes and length-to-diameter ratios, and by comparing cubic and cylindrical specimens with the same cross-sectional area. Both the length and the cross-sectional area of the specimen had a highly significant influence on the mechanical behaviour (p less than 0.0001). Within the actual range of length (2.75-11.0 mm) the normalized stiffness (Young's modulus) was related nearly linearly to the specimen length. This dependency on specimen length is suggested to be caused mainly by structural disintegrity of the trabecular specimens near the surface. The normalized stiffness (Young's modulus) was also positively correlated to the cross-sectional area. This dependency on cross-sectional area is probably due to friction-induced stress inhomogeneity at the platen-specimen interface. A cube with side length 6.5 mm or a cylindrical specimen with 7.5 mm diameter and 6.5 mm length are suggested as standard specimens for comparative studies on trabecular bone mechanics.

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