Because bone tissue adapts to loading conditions, finite element simulations of remodelling bone require a precise prediction of dynamically changing anisotropic elastic parameters. We present a phenomenological theory that refers to the tissue in terms of the tendency of the structure to align with principal stress directions. We describe the material parameters of remodelling bone. This work follows findings by the same research group and independently by Danilov (1971) in the field of plasticity, where the dependencies of the components of the stiffness tensor in terms of time are based on Hill's anisotropy. We modify such an approach in this novel theory that addresses bone tissue that can regenerate. The computational assumption of the theory is that bone trabeculae have the tendency to orient along one of the principal stress directions but during remodelling the principal stresses change continuously and the resulting orientation of the trabeculae can differ from the principal stress direction at any given time. The novelty of this work consists in the limited number of parameters needed to compute the twenty-one anisotropic material parameters at any given location in the bone tissue. In addition to the theory, we present here two cases of simplified geometry, loading and boundary conditions to show the effect of (1) time on the material properties; and (2) change of loading conditions on the anisotropic parameters. The long term goal is to experimentally verify that the predictions generated by theory provide a reliable simulation of cancellous bone properties.
Keywords: Bone remodelling; Wolff’ s law; Anisotropy; Development law; Cancellous bone