In this paper, the authors perform microtensile tests of single trabeculae excised from a human femur head. One of the main issues of this work is to establish some experimental procedures for preparing and testing the specimens. The use of a well-characterized microtensile apparatus allows for a low intraspecimen dispersion of the measured stiffness. Tensile/compressive tests were chosen because they appear less sensitive to errors in the cross-sectional area measurements with respect to bending tests. By these considerations, some tensile/compressive tests of plate-like trabecular specimens have been carried out. Typical stiffness values are 74.2±0.7 N mm−1 for tensile tests, and 58.9±0.6 N mm−1 for compressive test. Another compressive test performed on a shorter specimen yielded a stiffness value of 148.3±5.3 N mm−1. The maximum applied load was about 0.5 N. Rough measurements of specimens sizes yielded a Young's modulus value ranging from 1.41 to 1.89 GPa.
Keywords: Trabecula; Stiffness; Microtensile; Cancellous bone