Mechanical characterization of fourth generation composite humerus

P. Grover, C. Albert, M. Wang, G. F. Harris

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36 Scopus citations


Mechanical data on upper extremity surrogate bones, supporting use as biomechanical tools, is limited. The objective of this study was to characterize the structural behaviour of the fourth-generation composite humerus under simulated physiologic bending, specifically, stiffness, rigidity, and mid-diaphysial surface strains. Three humeri were tested in four-point bending, in anatomically defined anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) planes. Stiffness and rigidity were derived using load-displacement data. Principal strains were determined at the anterior, posterior, medial, and lateral surfaces in the humeral mid-diaphysial transverse plane of one specimen using stacked rosettes. Linear structural behaviour was observed within the test range. Average stiffness and rigidity were greater in the ML (918-±-18-N/mm; 98.4-±-1.9-Nm2) than the AP plane (833-±-16-N/mm; 89.3-±-1.6-Nm2), with little inter-specimen variability. The ML/AP rigidity ratio was 1.1. Surface principal strains were similar at the anterior (5.41-με/N) and posterior (5.43-με/N) gauges for AP bending, and comparatively less for ML bending, i.e. 5.1 and 4.5-με/N, at the medial and lateral gauges, respectively. This study provides novel strain and stiffness data for the fourth-generation composite humerus and also adds to published construct rigidity data. The presented results support the use of this composite bone as a tool for modelling and experimentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1176
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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