Composite bone models in orthopaedic surgery research and education

John Elfar, Ron Martin Garcia Menorca, Jeffrey Douglas Reed, Spencer Stanbury

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Composite bone models are increasingly used in orthopaedic biomechanics research and surgical education-applications that traditionally relied on cadavers. Cadaver bones are suboptimal for many reasons, including issues of cost, availability, preservation, and inconsistency between specimens. Further, cadaver samples disproportionately represent the elderly, whose bone quality may not be representative of the greater orthopaedic population. The current fourth-generation composite bone models provide an accurate reproduction of the biomechanical properties of human bone when placed under bending, axial, and torsional loads. The combination of glass fiber and epoxy resin components into a single phase has enabled manufacturing by injection molding. The high level of anatomic fidelity of the cadaver-based molds and negligible shrinkage properties of the epoxy resin results in a process that allows for excellent definition of anatomic detail in the cortical wall and optimized consistency of features between models. Recent biomechanical studies of composites have validated their use as a suitable substitute for cadaver specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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