The mechanical behaviour of trabecular bone is dependent on both the properties of individual trabeculae as well as their three-dimensional arrangement in space. In this study, nanoindentation was used to determine trabecular stiffness of bovine bone, both dehydrated and rehydrated. Values of 18.3 GPa and 14.3 GPa were obtained for dehydrated and rehydrated trabeculae respectively. These values were then used for finite element analysis where the mesh was generated directly from an X-ray microtomography dataset. The relationship between intrinsic tissue properties and apparent stiffness was explored. Moreover, the important role of collagen in bone micromechanics was demonstrated by complementing the study with Raman spectroscopy.
Keywords: trabecular bone; nanoindentation; X-ray microtomography; finite element modelling