This study uses a nanoindentation technique to examine variations in the local mechanical properties of porcine femoral cortical bone under hydrated conditions. Bone specimens from three age groups (6, 12 and 42 months), representing developing bone, ranging from young to mature animals, were tested on the longitudinal and transverse cross-sectional surfaces. Elastic modulus and hardness of individual lamellae within bone's microstructure: laminar bone, interstitial bone, and osteons, were measured. Both the elastic modulus and hardness increased with age. However, the magnitudes of these increases were different for each microstructural component. The longitudinal moduli were higher than the transverse moduli. Dehydrated samples were also tested to allow a comparison with hydrated samples and these resulted in higher moduli and hardness than the hydrated samples. Again, the degree of variation was different for each microstructural component. These results indicate that the developmental changes in bone have different rates of mechanical change within each microstructural component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1775-1782
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 26 2012


  • Age
  • Cortical bone
  • Elastic moduli
  • Hardness
  • Interstitial lamellae
  • Laminar bone
  • Nanoindentation
  • Osteons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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