The mechanical properties of cancellous bone depend on the bone structure. The present study examined the extent to which the apparent stiffness of the cancellous bone of the human mandibular condyle can be predicted from its structure. Two models were compared. The first, a structure model, used structural parameters such as bone volume fraction and anisotropy to estimate the apparent stiffness. The second was a finite element model (FEM) of the cancellous bone. The bone structure was characterized by micro-computed tomography. The calculated stiffnesses of 24 bone samples were compared with measured stiffnesses. Both models could predict 89% of the variation in the measured stiffnesses. From the stiffness approximated by FEM in combination with the measured stiffness, the stiffness of the bone tissue was estimated to be 11.1 ± 3.2 GPa. It was concluded that both models could predict the stiffness of cancellous bone with adequate accuracy.
Keywords: cancellous bone; mandible; finite element model; apparent Young's modulus