Viscoelastic behaviour and failure of bovine cancellous bone under constant strain rate

J Biomech. 2006;39(1):49-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2004.11.005. Epub 2004 Dec 24.


A programme has been established to characterize the long-term behaviour of cancellous bone. Fresh bovine cancellous specimens of dimensions 10 x 10 x 10 mm3 and 10 x 40 x 3.6 mm3 were manufactured and used within the testing programme. Results published in the literature indicate that the long-term behaviour of cancellous bone is well described by a power law, which is a very similar response of typical polymers. So far, dynamic mechanical tests (DMA) in three-point bending, under frequencies between 0.01 and 100 Hz at room temperature, confirmed the published results in a qualitative way. Nevertheless, the measured dimensionless damping, tan delta, was slightly higher than the values reported in the literature for the compact bone. The relaxation curves were obtained from dynamic tests and confirmed that bone relaxation modulus can be described by a power law function of time. Tests under constant compression strain rate were performed at four different strain rates: 0.15/s, 0.015/s, 0.0015/s and 0.00015/s and strain rate dependent behaviour was observed. An average elastic bending modulus of 300 MPa was obtained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density
  • Cattle
  • Elasticity
  • Femur Head*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Viscosity