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J Biomech. 2011 May 17;44(8):1588-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.02.075. Epub 2011 Mar 11.

Microstructural mechanical study of a transverse osteon under compressive loading: The role of fiber reinforcement and explanation of some geometrical and mechanical microscopic properties.

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Research Group of Biomechanics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ruhr-University of Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany.


This Finite Element study aims at understanding the transverse osteon as a composite microstructure, and at differentiating the actions of each of its main components and their interactions. Three components of the osteon have been distinguished: the lamellae mineral-collagen matrix, the lamellae mineral-collagen reinforcement fibers and the Haversian canal content made of intracortical fluid and soft tissues. Numerical compression experiments have been performed, varying the microstructure properties. Our results show that fiber reinforcement of transverse osteons is only efficient at resisting dynamic compressive loadings, but that the improvement of the static compressive properties is very poor. Furthermore, the modeled stress distribution within the matrix and reinforcement fibers may explain why transverse osteons are often limited to a small number of lamellae (<8) and why internal lamellae could be stiffer than external ones.

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