Date: 01 Mar 2011

Biomechanical evaluation of regenerating long bone by nanoindentation

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Abstract

It is crucial to measure the mechanical function of regenerating bone in order to assess the mechanical performance of the regenerating portion as well as the efficiency of the regeneration methods. In this study, nanoindentation was applied to regenerating and intact rabbit ulnae to determine the material properties of hardness and elasticity; viscoelasticity was also investigated to precisely evaluate the material properties. Both intact and regenerating bones exhibited remarkable viscoelasticity manifested as a creep behavior during load hold at the maximum load, and the creep was significantly greater in the regenerating bone than the intact bone. The creep resulted in an overestimation of the hardness and Young’s modulus. Hence, during nanoindentation testing of bones, the effect of creep should be eliminated. Moreover, the regenerating bone had lower hardness and Young’s modulus than the intact bone. The nanoindentation technique proved to be a powerful approach for understanding the mechanical properties of regenerating bone.