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Errors Induced By Off-Axis Measurement Of The Elastic Properties Of Bone

C. H. Turner, S. C. Cowin

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Misalignment between the axes of measurement and the material symmetry axes of bone causes error in anisotropic elastic property measurements. Measurements of Poisson’s ratio were strongly affected by misalignment errors. The mean errors in the measured Young’s moduli were 9.5 and 1.3 percent for cancellous and cortical bone, respectively, at a misalignment angle of 10 degrees. Mean errors of 1.1 and 5.0 percent in the measured shear moduli for cancellous and cortical bone, respectively, were found at a misalignment angle of 10 degrees. Although, cancellous bone tissue was assumed to have orthotropic elastic symmetry, the possibility of the greater symmetry of transverse isotropy was investigated. When the nine orthotropic elastic constants were forced to approximate the five transverse isotropic elastic constants, errors of over 60 percent were introduced. Therefore, it was concluded that cancellous bone is truly orthotropic and not transversely isotropic. A similar but less strong result for cortical bone tissue was obtained.