Directional Tortuosity as a Predictor of Modulus Damage for Vertebral Cancellous Bone

David P Fyhrie, Roger Zauel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There are many methods used to estimate the undamaged effective (apparent) moduli of cancellous bone as a function of bone volume fraction (BV/TV), mean intercept length (MIL), and other image based average microstructural measures. The MIL and BV/TV are both only functions of the cancellous microstructure and, therefore, cannot directly account for damage induced changes in the intrinsic trabecular hard tissue mechanical properties. Using a nonlinear finite element (FE) approximation for the degradation of effective modulus as a function of applied effective compressive strain, we demonstrate that a measurement of the directional tortuosity of undamaged trabecular hard tissue strongly predicts directional effective modulus (r<sup>2</sup> > 0.90) and directional effective modulus degradation (r<sup>2</sup> > 0.65). This novel measure of cancellous bone directional tortuosity has the potential for development into an anisotropic approach for calculating effective mechanical properties as a function of trabecular level material damage applicable to understanding how tissue microstructure and intrinsic hard tissue moduli interact to determine cancellous bone quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011007
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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