Mechanical Testing

Although imaging is often used as a surrogate to evaluate bone fragility, direct measurements of mechanical strength are undoubtedly the gold standard for providing information about the mechanical integrity of bone. Destructively testing a specimen to failure provides a load-deformation curve that can provide many useful extrinsic properties, such as stiffness, ultimate strength, and displacement-to-failure. Alternatively the load-deformation curve can be converted into a stress-strain curve that can provide intrinsic properties such as Young’s modulus.

At our facility we have access to a range of loadframes that are capable of testing a wide range of specimens in various standard loading configurations. The smallest are handled by Synergie 100 (MTS Systems, Eden Prairie, MN) or Bose ElectroForce 3230 (Bose Corporation, Eden Prairie, MN). Larger specimens are tested on an Instron 8511 MTS (Instron, Norwood, MA). For the very largest specimens – i.e. Human and Bovine – we use an Interlaken Model 1331 (Interlaken Technology Corporation, Chaska, MN). These various systems can be outfitted with jigs to perform compression, tensile, bending, or torsional tests as required. For more information about mechanical testing, please contact Daniel Brooks.

High speed testing of saw-bones femur in sideways fall configuration: