Abstract

The fracture properties of cortical bone are directly coupled to its complex hierarchical structure. The limited availability of bone material from many anatomic locations creates challenges for assessing the effect of bone heterogeneity and anisotropy on fracture properties. The small punch technique was employed to examine the fracture behavior of cortical bone in terms of area under the curve values obtained from load–load point displacement behavior. Fracture toughness of cortical bone was also determined in terms of J-toughness values obtained using a compact tension (CT) test. Area under the curve values obtained from the small punch test were correlated with the J-toughness values of cortical bone. The effects of bone density and compositional parameters on area under the curve and Jtoughness values were also analyzed using linear and multiple regression analysis. Area under the curve and J-toughness values are strongly and positively correlated. Bone density and %mineral content are positively correlated with both area under the curve and J-toughness values. The multiple regression analysis outcomes support these results. Overall, the findings support the hypothesis that area under the curve values obtained from small punch tests can be used to assess the fracture behavior of cortical bone.

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