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Comparative Finite-element Analysis: A Single Computational Modelling Method Can Estimate The Mechanical Properties Of Porcine And Human Vertebrae

K. Robson Brown, S. Tarsuslugil, V. N. Wijayathunga, R. K. Wilcox

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Significant advances in the functional analysis of musculoskeletal systems require the development of modelling techniques with improved focus, accuracy and validity. This need is particularly visible in the fields, such as palaeontology, where unobservable parameters may lie at the heart of the most interesting research questions, and where models and simulations may provide some of the most innovative solutions. Here, we report on the development of a computational modelling method to generate estimates of the mechanical properties of vertebral bone across two living species, using elderly human and juvenile porcine specimens as cases with very different levels of bone volume fraction and mineralization. This study is presented in two parts; part I presents the computational model development and validation, and part II the virtual loading regime and results. This work paves the way for the future estimation of mechanical properties in fossil mammalian bone.