Nonlinear homogenisation of trabecular bone: Effect of solid phase constitutive model

, , , and . Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine 231 (5): 405-414 (2017)PMID: 28427317.


Micro-finite element models have been extensively employed to evaluate the elastic properties of trabecular bone and, to a limited extent, its yield behaviour. The macroscopic stiffness tensor and yield surface are of special interest since they are essential in the prediction of bone strength and stability of implants at the whole bone level. While macroscopic elastic properties are now well understood, yield and post-yield properties are not. The aim of this study is to shed some light on what the effect of the solid phase yield criterion is on the macroscopic yield of trabecular bone for samples with different microstructure. Three samples with very different density were subjected to a large set of apparent load cases (which is important since physiological loading is complex and can have multiple components in stress or strain space) with two different solid phase yield criteria: Drucker–Prager and eccentric–ellipsoid. The study found that these two criteria led to small differences in the macroscopic yield strains for most load cases except for those that were compression-dominated; in these load cases, the yield strains for the Drucker–Prager criterion were significantly higher. Higher density samples resulted in higher differences between the two criteria. This work provides a comprehensive assessment of the effect of two different solid phase yield criteria on the macroscopic yield strains of trabecular bone, for a wide range of load cases, and for samples with different morphology.

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