Research Summary Biological Materials Science


, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 39-44

First online:

Aging and loading rate effects on the mechanical behavior of equine bone

  • Robb M. KulinAffiliated withMaterials Science & Engineering Program, University of California at San Diego
  • , Fengchun JiangAffiliated withNanoEngineering Department, University of California at San Diego
  • , Kenneth S. VecchioAffiliated withNanoEngineering Department, University of California at San Diego Email author 

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Whether due to a sporting accident, high-speed impact, fall, or other catastrophic event, the majority of clinical bone fractures occur under dynamic loading conditions. However, although extensive research has been performed on the quasi-static fracture and mechanical behavior of bone to date, few high-quality studies on the fracture behavior of bone at high strain rates have been performed. Therefore, many questions remain regarding the material behavior, including not only the loading-rate-dependent response of bone, but also how this response varies with age. In this study, tests were performed on equine femoral bone taken post-mortem from donors 6 months to 28 years of age. Quasi-static and dynamic tests were performed to determine the fracture toughness and compressive mechanical behavior as a function of age at varying loading rates. Fracture paths were then analyzed using scanning confocal and scanning-electron microscopy techniques to assess the role of various microstructural features on toughening mechanisms.