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Bone. 2012 Jun;50(6):1275-80. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2012.02.018. Epub 2012 Feb 25.

Effects of mineral content on the fracture properties of equine cortical bone in double-notched beams.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California at Davis, Sacramento, CA, USA.


We recently developed a method to measure cortical bone fracture initiation toughness using a double-notched beam in four-point bending. This method was used to test the hypothesis that mineralization around the two notch roots is correlated with fracture toughness and crack extension (physical damage). Total energy absorbed to failure negatively correlated with average mineralization of the beam (r(2)=0.62), but not with notch root mineralization. Fracture initiation toughness was positively correlated to mineralization at the broken notch root (r(2)=0.34). Crack length extension at the unbroken notch was strongly negatively correlated with the average mineralization of the notch roots (r(2)=0.81) whereas crack length extension at the broken notch did not correlate with any of the mineralization measurements. Mineralization at the notch roots and the average mineralization contributed independently to the mechanical and damage properties. The data are consistent with a hypothesis that a) high notch root mineralization results in less stable crack length extension but high force to initiate unstable crack propagation while b) higher average mineralization leads to low post-yield (and total) energy absorption to failure.

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