Generation of subject-specific finite element (FE) models from computed tomography (CT) datasets is of significance for application of the FE analysis to bone structures. A great challenge that remains is the automatic assignment of bone material properties from CT Hounsfield Units into finite element models. This paper proposes a new assignment approach, in which material properties are directly assigned to each integration point. Instead of modifying the dataset of FE models, the proposed approach divides the assignment procedure into two steps: generating the data file of the image intensity of a bone in a MATLAB program and reading the file into ABAQUS via user subroutines. Its accuracy has been validated by assigning the density of a bone phantom into a FE model. The proposed approach has been applied to the FE model of a sheep tibia and its applicability tested on a variety of element types. The proposed assignment approach is simple and illustrative. It can be easily modified to fit users’ situations.
Keywords: Bone; Stress and strain; Computed tomography; Subject-specific finite element models; Material property mapping; Partial volume effects