Modeling orthotropic elasticity, localized plasticity and fracture in trabecular bone

D. T. O’Connor, K. I. Elkhodary, Y. Fouad, M. S. Greene, F. A. Sabet, J. Qian, Y. Zhang, W. K. Liu, I. Jasiuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work develops a model for the mechanical response of trabecular bone including plasticity, damage and fracture. It features a resultant lamellar orientation that captures trabecular strut anisotropic elasticity, and introduces asymmetric J2 plasticity with isotropic hardening to capture evolving strut tensile and compressive dissipative properties. A continuum compatibility based damage and fracture criterion is also proposed to model fracture surface generation. We investigated fracture of a trabecular bone network under a compressive load, for which failure modes of both tension and compression were identified at the strut level. The predicted trabecular network response was found to fall within the range of experimental results reported in literature. We also investigated the response of idealized struts under compression, tension and bending using our model. Individual struts were found to exhibit micro-buckling under compression and micro-necking under tension. These instabilities are however masked by the multiplicity and complexity of strut orientations at the trabecular network level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-439
Number of pages17
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Damage
  • Fracture
  • Individual trabeculae
  • Micro-CT finite element
  • Trabecular bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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