Spatial Variation in Young Ovine Cortical Bone Properties

Sony Manandhar, Hyunggwi Song, Sara G. Moshage, Joshua Craggette, John D. Polk, Mariana E. Kersh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significant effort continues to be made to understand whether differences exist in the structural, compositional, and mechanical properties of cortical bone subjected to different strain modes or magnitudes. We evaluated juvenile sheep femora (age = 4 months) from the anterior and posterior quadrants at three points along the diaphysis as a model system for variability in loading. Micro-CT scans (50 micron) were used to measure cortical thickness and mineral density. Three point bending tests were performed to measure the flexural modulus, strength, and post-yield displacement. There was no difference in cortical thickness or density between anterior or posterior quadrants; however, density was consistently higher in the middle diaphysis. Interestingly, bending modulus and strength were higher in anterior quadrants compared to posterior quadrants. Together, our results suggest that there is a differential spatial response of bone in terms of elastic bending modulus and mechanical strength. The origins of this difference may lie within the variation in ongoing mineralization, in combination with the collagen-rich plexiform structure, and whether this is related to strain mode remains to be explored. These data suggest that in young ovine cortical bone, modulation of strength occurs via potentially complex interactions of both mineral and collagen-components that may be different in regions of bone exposed to variable amounts of strain. Further work is needed to confirm the physiological load state of bone during growth to better elucidate the degree to which these variations are a function of the local mechanical environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023


  • compression
  • cortical
  • density
  • growth
  • mechanical properties
  • tension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial Variation in Young Ovine Cortical Bone Properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this