, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 1668-1677
Date: 29 Jun 2007

The Influence of Mineralization on Intratrabecular Stress and Strain Distribution in Developing Trabecular Bone

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The load-transfer pathway in trabecular bone is largely determined by its architecture. However, the influence of variations in mineralization is not known. The goal of this study was to examine the influence of inhomogeneously distributed degrees of mineralization (DMB) on intratrabecular stresses and strains. Cubic mandibular condylar bone specimens from fetal and newborn pigs were used. Finite element models were constructed, in which the element tissue moduli were scaled to the local DMB. Disregarding the observed distribution of mineralization was associated with an overestimation of average equivalent strain and underestimation of von Mises equivalent stress. From the surface of trabecular elements towards their core the strain decreased irrespective of tissue stiffness distribution. This indicates that the trabecular elements were bent during the compression experiment. Inhomogeneously distributed tissue stiffness resulted in a low stress at the surface that increased towards the core. In contrast, disregarding this tissue stiffness distribution resulted in high stress at the surface which decreased towards the core. It was concluded that the increased DMB, together with concurring alterations in architecture, during development leads to a structure which is able to resist increasing loads without an increase in average deformation, which may lead to damage.