Background: Remodeling process affects the mineral content of osteons and imparts heterogeneity through secondary mineralization; the aim of the present study is to assess the elastic and plastic time-dependent mechanical properties of osteons reflecting different mineral content as well as interstitial tissue of human femoral cortical bone by nanoindentation. Methods: Four trapezoiform blocks approximately 3mm thick were cut from the distal end of different human femoral diaphysis. Osteons with different apparent mineral degrees were classified by means of gray levels imaging using Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM). Nanoindentation tests were performed in the longitudinal direction of the bone axis using a four-stage protocol (load-hold-unload-hold) and the experimental curves were fitted by a mechanical model allowing the determination of the time-dependent mechanical properties. Results: Apparent low mineral content impact negatively the mechanical response of bone material at the micro-scale. Mechanical response varies among osteons exhibiting different mineral degrees. The values of the apparent elastic modulus double when the strain rate is analyzed at the extreme values (ϵ=zero and infinity) whatever the bone component. Conclusions: These results evidence the mechanical heterogeneity of bone microstructure due to remodeling process. The quantification of the time-dependent mechanical properties could be useful to improve numerical models of bone behavior and provide new insights to build up original biomimetic materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine