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Patient-Specific Finite-Element Analyses Of The Proximal Femur With Orthotropic Material Properties Validated By Experiments

Nir Trabelsi, Zohar Yosibash

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Patient-specific high order finite-element (FE) models of human femurs based on quantitative computer tomography (QCT) with inhomogeneous orthotropic and isotropic material properties are addressed. The point-wise orthotropic properties are determined by a micromechanics (MM) based approach in conjunction with experimental observations at the osteon level, and two methods for determining the material trajectories are proposed (along organs outer surface, or along principal strains). QCT scans on four fresh-frozen human femurs were performed and high-order FE models were generated with either inhomogeneous MM-based orthotropic or empirically determined isotropic properties. In vitro experiments were conducted on the femurs by applying a simple stance position load on their head, recording strains on femurs’ surface and head’s displacements. After verifying the FE linear elastic analyses that mimic the experimental setting for numerical accuracy, we compared the FE results to the experimental observations to identify the influence of material properties on models’ predictions. The strains and displacements computed by FE models having MM-based inhomogeneous orthotropic properties match the FE-results having empirically based isotropic properties well, and both are in close agreement with the experimental results. When only the strains in the femoral neck are being compared a more pronounced difference is noticed between the isotropic and orthotropic FE result. These results lay the foundation for applying more realistic inhomogeneous orthotropic material properties in FEA of femurs.