Age-related bone fractures are a major health concern to the elderly population. In addition to the loss of bone mass, the deterioration of bone quality is another major reason for such fractures. The decline of bone quality is manifested with the accumulation of microdamage in bone with age [1]. Two major types of microdamage have been observed in bone tissue: linear microcracks and diffuse damage [2]. Linear microcracks are individual cracks at a size of microns or larger and are usually visible under an optical microscope. On the other hand, diffuse damage is detectable only by staining and consists of an extensive network of fine, ultrastructural-level defects. The mechanisms for the formation of these two distinct types of microdamage in bone are still unclear. In this study, probabilistic finite element models of mineral-collagen composites were used to study the progression of microdamage in bone, thereby exploring the conditions under which linear microcracks and diffuse damage are produced in bone.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.