Mechanical evaluation of large-size fourth-generation composite femur and tibia models

Matthew P. Gardner, Alexander C.M. Chong, Anthony G. Pollock, Paul H. Wooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Composite analogue bone models provide consistent geometric and structural properties that represent a valuable asset in a range of biomechanical analyses and testing procedures. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diaphyseal structural properties of the large-size Fourth-Generation composite analogue femur and tibia models concentrated on mechanical behaviors under axial compression, bending and torsion. Thirty of each large-size composite analogue models (femora and tibiae) were tested under medial-lateral four-point bending, anterior-posterior four-point bending, axial compression and external rotational torque to evaluate flexural rigidity, axial stiffness, torsional rigidity and ultimate failure strength. The composite femur was tested under torsion at both the femoral neck and the mid-diaphyseal areas. Large-size Fourth-Generation composite replicate bones exhibited intra-specimen variations under 10% for all cases and was also found to perform within the biological range of healthy adult bones (age: <80 years old) range with respect to flexural rigidity (<8%) and torsional rigidity (<12%). The failure modes of these composite models were close to published findings for human bones (four-point bending: butterfly fragment fracture; torsional: spiral fracture; and compression: transverse fracture). The large-size composite analogue femur and tibia are close to ideal replicas for standardization in biomechanical analyses. One advantage of these analogue models is that their variability is significantly lower than that of cadaveric specimens for all loading regimens. Published results vary widely in cadaveric studies, which is likely due to the high anatomic variability among cadaveric specimens. This study evaluated and advanced our overall understanding of the capacity of composite analogue bone models mimic the structural properties of average healthy adult human bones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-620
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of biomedical engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomechanical model
  • Bone mechanics
  • Bone stiffness
  • Composite analogue femur
  • Composite analogue tibia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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