The interactions between mineral and collagen phases in the ultrastructural level play an important role in determining the mechanical properties of bone tissue. Three types of mineral–collagen interaction (i.e., ionic interactions, hydrogen/van der Waals bonds, and van der Waals/viscous shear in opening/sliding mode, respectively) have been simulated in this study, using cohesive zone-modeling techniques. Considering the inhomogeneity of bone, a probabilistic failure analysis approach has been also employed to account for the effect of mineral–collagen interfacial behavior on microdamage accumulation in lamellar bone tissues. The results of this study suggested that different interfacial behaviors cause different types of microdamage accumulation. The ionic interactions between the mineral and collagen phases lead to the formation of linear microcracks, while the van der Waals/viscous shear interactions may facilitate the formation of diffuse damage. In the case of hydrogen/van der Waals bonds, a transitional behavior of microdamage accumulation in bone was observed. The findings of this study may help in understanding the mechanisms of mineral–collagen interactions and its effects on the failure mechanism of bone.
Keywords: Bone; Mineral–collagen interface; FEM; Cohesive element; Probabilistic failure analysis; Microdamage