Two distinct geometrical models of bone at the nanoscale (collagen fibril and mineral platelets) are analyzed computationally. In the first model (model I), minerals are periodically distributed in a staggered manner in a collagen matrix while in the second model (model II), minerals form continuous layers outside the collagen fibril. Elastic modulus and strength of bone at the nanoscale, represented by these two models under longitudinal tensile loading, are studied using a finite element (FE) software abaqus. The analysis employs a traction-separation law (cohesive surface modeling) at various interfaces in the models to account for interfacial delaminations. Plane stress, plane strain, and axisymmetric versions of the two models are considered. Model II is found to have a higher stiffness than model I for all cases. For strength, the two models alternate the superiority of performance depending on the inputs and assumptions used. For model II, the axisymmetric case gives higher results than the plane stress and plane strain cases while an opposite trend is observed for model I. For axisymmetric case, model II shows greater strength and stiffness compared to model I. The collagen-mineral arrangement of bone at nanoscale forms a basic building block of bone. Thus, knowledge of its mechanical properties is of high scientific and clinical interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number051006
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • bone
  • cohesive interface law
  • elasticity
  • finite element modeling
  • nanoscale
  • strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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