When compressed axially, cancellous bone often fails at an oblique angle along well-defined bands, highlighting the importance of cancellous bone shear properties. Torsion testing to determine shear properties of cancellous bone has often been conducted under conditions appropriate only for axis-symmetric specimens comprised of homogeneous and isotropic materials. However, most cancellous bone specimens do not meet these stringent test conditions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to design and validate a uniaxial, incremental torsional testing system for non-homogeneous orthotropic or non-axis-symmetric specimens.
Precision and accuracy of the newly designed torsion system was validated by using Plexiglas rods and beams, where obtained material properties were compared to those supplied by the manufacturer. Additionally, the incremental step-wise application of angular displacement and simultaneous time-lapsed μCT imaging capability of the system was validated using whale cancellous bone specimens, with step-wise application of angular displacement yielding similar torsional mechanical properties to continuous application of angular displacement in a conventional torsion study.
In conclusion, a novel torsion testing system for non-homogeneous, orthotropic materials using the incremental step-wise application of torsion and simultaneous time-lapsed μCT imaging was designed and validated.