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EM 388F Term Paper: Application of Fracture Mechanics on Cortical Bone Studies

One of the most common problems in older people is the fragility of the bones. Human bones are prone to fracture, and fracture of certain bones in the body such as the cortical bone may be fatal. Understanding of the fracture mechanism of bones is essential for the medical profession, and plays a major role in the study of osteoporosis as well.  

Bone fracture occurs when microcracking occurs at one of the many sites throughout the microstructure arrangement of the bone. Discussion into the methods of bone analysis using fracture mechanics will be undertaken. As bone fracture can also occur through fatigue, due to the accumulation of damage by the microcracks leading to macrocracks, fatigue fracture in bones will also be reviewed. The determinations of fracture toughness through various means are also investigated. Analysis of bone fracture can be done through many ways including stress field analysis, energy approach, the study of microstructures in bones and corresponding microdamage, and also through experimental tests and fracture toughness testing.


Nalla, R.K., et al. (2005) Aspects of in Vitro Fatigue in Human Cortical Bone: Time and Cycle Dependent Crack Growth, Biomaterials 26:2183–2195; 2005 

Taylor, D., Lee, T.C. (2003) A Crack Growth Model for the Simulation of Fatigue in Bone, International Journal of Fatigue 25:387–395; 2003

Yeni, Y.N., Fyhrie, D.P. (2002). Fatigue Damage-Fracture Mechanics Interaction in Cortical Bone, Bone 30:509-514; 2002

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