Prediction of mechanical properties of trabecular bone in patients with type 2 diabetes using damage based finite element method

J Biomech. 2021 Jun 23;123:110495. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2021.110495. Epub 2021 May 5.


Type-2 diabetic (T2D) and osteoporosis (OP) suffered patients are more prone to fragile fracture though the nature of alteration in areal bone mineral density (aBMD) in these two cases are completely different. Therefore, it becomes crucial to compare the effect of T2D and OP on alteration in mechanical and structural properties of femoral trabecular bone. This study investigated the effect of T2D, OP, and osteopenia on bone structural and mechanical properties using micro-CT, nanoindentation and compression test. Further, a nanoscale finite element model (FEM) was developed to predict the cause of alteration in mechanical properties. Finally, a damage-based FEM was proposed to predict the pathological related alteration of bone's mechanical response. The obtained results demonstrated that the T2D group had lower volume fraction (-18.25%, p = 0.023), young's modulus (-23.47%, p = 0.124), apparent modulus (-37.15%, p = 0.02), and toughness (-40%, p = 0.001) than the osteoporosis group. The damage-based FE results were found in good agreement with the compression experiment results for all three pathological conditions. Also, nanoscale FEM results demonstrated that the elastic and failure properties of mineralised collagen fibril decreases with increase in crystal size. This study reveals that T2D patients are more prone to fragile fracture in comparison to OP and osteopenia patients. Also, the proposed damage-based FEM can help to predict the risk of fragility fracture for different pathological conditions.

Keywords: Finite element analysis; Mechanical properties; Mineralized collagen fibril; Trabecular bone; Type 2 diabetes.