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J Biomech. 1983;16(7):481-9.

Stress wave propagation in bone.


The traveling wave characteristics for a single compressive pulse were studied in fresh and embalmed human long bones. The stress wave was generated by the longitudinal impact of a steel ball on one end of a bone and was monitored by bonded strain gages. The dynamic properties, namely velocity, attenuation coefficient and dispersion were correlated with the mineral density, porosity, and cross-sectional area of the specimens. Statistically significant relationships were found between several of these parameters. These stress wave propagation characteristics are important for our understanding of the dynamic loading of bone and they may also provide a basis for the development of noninvasive techniques for studies of diseased or fractured bone.

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