In vivo vibrational wave propagation in human tibiae at different ages
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Vibrational wave propagation was tested in vivo on the tibial bone of both legs of 56 female volunteers. The impact was produced by a hammer with a force strain gauge and the response was monitored by two accelerometers. The peak amplitude of the accelerations, the velocity of the acceleration wave propagation and damping were analysed for comparison among the different age groups. The results showed significant negative correlations between age and the peak amplitude of acceleration, and the velocity of acceleration wave propagation (p<0.01). The damping time of the acceleration wave also had a negative correlation with age. These findings suggested that age differences were related to the differences in the mechanical properties of bone. With reduction of bone mineral density, the velocity of the vibrational wave propagation would decrease, with simultaneous increase in impedance. In addition, wave absorption would be accelerated. It is suggested that this method could be used as an indicator of bone density. The method could also be developed to provide an index to monitor the progress of osteoporosis.
Key wordsOsteoporosis Vibrational wave propagation Aging
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