UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME DU LAC
Osteoporosis is a major health concern among Americans. Osteoporosis is normally characterized by a loss of bone density leading to increased fracture risk. Due to lack of specificity and sensitivity of bone density as a diagnostic measure, focus has shifted to other factors that affect bone strength, which are collectively termedbone quality. One such factor is the microdamage burden in the bone. The presence of microdamage has been positively linked to decreased stiffness and strength of trabecular bone through in vitro tests. However,there is not a strong correlation between microdamage density and reduction in stiffness. Recent work in our laboratory has shown a potential relationship between the microdamage burden and the rate at which the applied stress decreases - the softening modulus - during loading. This phenomenon is directly related to the fracture process, where softening results in decreased energy absorption and hence greater likelihood of failure.
The goal of this work is to expidite our current work relating microdamage formation and propagation in trabecular bone, as well as to expand this work to investigate the relationships between microdamage and post-ultimate behavior of trabecular bone.