Determinants of ovine compact bone viscoelastic properties: Effects of architecture, mineralization, and remodeling

C. M. Les, C. A. Spence, J. L. Vance, G. T. Christopherson, B. Patel, A. S. Turner, G. W. Divine, David P Fyhrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Significant decreases in ovine compact bone viscoelastic properties (specifically, stress-rate sensitivity, and damping efficiency) are associated with three years of ovariectomy and are particularly evident at higher frequencies [Proc. Orthop. Res. Soc. 27 (2002) 89]. It is unclear what materials or architectural features of bone are responsible for either the viscoelastic properties themselves, or for the changes in those properties that were observed with estrogen depletion. In this study, we examined the relationship between these viscoelastic mechanical properties and features involving bone architecture (BV/TV), materials parameters (ash density, %mineralization), and histologic evidence of remodeling (%remodeled, cement line interface). The extent of mineralization was inversely proportional to the material's efficiency in damping stress oscillations. The damping characteristics of bone material from ovariectomized animals were significantly more sensitive to variation in mineralization than was bone from control animals. At low frequencies (6 Hz or less), increased histologic evidence of remodeling was positively correlated with increased damping efficiency. However, the dramatic decreases in stress-rate sensitivity that accompanied 3-year ovariectomy were seen throughout the bone structure and occurred even in areas with little or no secondary Haversian remodeling as well as in areas of complete remodeling. Taken together, these data suggest that, while the mineral component may modify the viscoelastic behavior of bone, the basic mechanism underlying bone viscoelastic behavior, and of the changes in that behavior with estrogen depletion, reside in a non-mineral component of the bone that can be significantly altered in the absence of secondary remodeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-738
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Compact bone
  • Loss tangent
  • Mineralization
  • Remodeling
  • Storage modulus
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hematology


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