Couple-stress moduli of a trabecular bone idealized as a 3D periodic cellular network

Andrew Yoo, Iwona Jasiuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trabecular bone is modeled as a cellular material with an idealized periodic structure made of open cubic cells, which is effectively orthotropic. We evaluate apparent couple-stress moduli of such a periodic material; apparent moduli refer to the moduli obtained using a domain smaller than a Representative Volume Element and they depend on boundary conditions. We conduct this analysis computationally (using ANSYS) by subjecting a unit cell of this periodic cellular material to either displacement or traction boundary conditions. Cell walls, representing bone tissue, and void space, representing bone marrow, are both modeled and they are assumed to be linear elastic. The applied loadings include a uniaxial extension (or uniaxial stress), a hydrostatic deformation (or hydrostatic stress) and a shear deformation (or shear stress) to evaluate the first stiffness (or compliance) tensor, and an applied curvature (or bending moment), a uniaxial twist (or torsion), and a triaxial twist (or triaxial torsion) to evaluate the second couple-stress stiffness (or compliance) tensor. Apparent couple-stress moduli are computed by equating the total strain energy stored in the unit cell with the energy of an equivalent homogeneous orthotropic couple-stress material for each applied loading. The moduli computed using displacement boundary conditions give upper bound, while those obtained using traction boundary conditions give lower bound on effective couple-stress moduli. These bounds are very wide due to a large mismatch in elastic moduli of bone tissue and bone marrow. These results are in agreement with our studies on composite materials with very stiff or very compliant inclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2241-2252
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Apparent moduli
  • Couple-stress
  • Generalized continuum
  • Trabecular bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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