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Anatomical distribution of the degree of mineralization of bone tissue in human femoral neck: Impact on biomechanical properties

Abstract : Osteoporotic hip fractures represent a major public health problem associated with high human and economic costs. The anatomical variation of the tissue mineral density (TMD) and of the elastic constants in femoral neck cortical bone specimens is an important determinant of bone fragility. The purpose of this study was to show that a Synchrotron radiation microcomputed tomography system coupled with a multiscale biomechanical model allows the determination of the 3-D anatomical dependence of TMD and of the elastic constants (i.e. the mechanical properties of an anisotropic material) in human femoral neck. Bone specimens from the inferior femoral neck were obtained from 18 patients undergoing standard hemiarthroplasty. The specimens were imaged using 3-D synchrotron micro-computed tomography with a voxel size of 10.13 mu m, leading to the determination of the anatomical distributions of porosity and TMD. The elastic properties of bone tissue were computed using a multiscale model. The model uses the experimental data obtained at the scale of several micrometers to estimate the components of the elastic tensor of bone at the scale of the organ. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) revealed a significant effect of the radial position on porosity and TMD and a significant effect of axial position on TMD only. Porosity was found to increase in the radial direction moving from the periosteum inwards (p<10(-5)). At any given distance from the periosteum, porosity does not vary noticeably along the bone axis. TMD was found to be significantly higher (p<10(-5)) in the periosteal region than in other bone locations and decreases from the periosteal to the endosteal region with an average slope of 10.05, the decrease being faster in the porous part of the samples (average slope equal of 30.04 than in dense cortical bone. TMD was found to decrease from the distal to the proximal part of the femur neck (average slope of 6.5 Considering TMD variations in the radial direction induces weak changes of bone properties compared to constant TMD. TMD variations in the axial direction are responsible for a significant variation of elastic constants. These results demonstrate that the anatomical variations of TMD affect the bone elastic properties, which could be explained by the complex stress field in bone affecting bone remodeling. TMD spatial variations should be taken into account to properly describe the spatial heterogeneity of elastic coefficients of bone tissue at the organ scale.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 11:11:51 AM
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V. Sansalone, V. Bousson, S. Naili, C. Bergot, F. Peyrin, et al.. Anatomical distribution of the degree of mineralization of bone tissue in human femoral neck: Impact on biomechanical properties. BONE, Elsevier, 2012, 50 (4), pp.876-884. ⟨10.1016/j.bone.2011.12.020⟩. ⟨hal-00692613⟩



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