In human cortical bone, cement lines (or reversal lines) separate osteons from the interstitial bone tissue, which consists of remnants of primary lamellar bone or fragments of remodeled osteons. There have been experimental evidences of the cement line involvement in the failure process of bone such as fatigue and damage. However, there are almost no experimental data on interfacial properties of cement lines in human cortical bone. The objective of this study is to design and assemble a precision and computer controlled osteon pushout microtesting system, and to experimentally determine the interfacial strength of cement lines in human cortical bone by performing osteon pushout tests. Thirty specimens were prepared from humeral diaphyses of four human subjects. Twenty specimens were tested under the condition of a small hole in the supporting plate, in which the cement line debonding occurred. The cement line interfacial strength ranged from 5.38 MPa to 10.85 MPa with an average of 7.31±1.73 MPa. On the other hand, ten specimens were tested under the condition of a large hole in the supporting plate, in which the shear failure inside osteons was observed. The specimens tested under the condition of the large hole resulted in an average shear strength of 73.71±15.06 MPa, ranging from 45.97 MPa to 93.74 MPa. Therefore, our results suggest that the cement line interface between osteon and interstitial bone tissue is weaker than that between bone tissue lamellae.
Keywords: Cortical Bone, Bone Mechanics, Bone Microstructure, Cement Line, Interface, Strength