A new multiscale micromechanical model of vertebral trabecular bones

Rami Haj-Ali, Eyass Massarwa, Jacob Aboudi, Fabio Galbusera, Uwe Wolfram, Hans Joachim Wilke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new three-dimensional (3D) multiscale micromechanical model has been suggested as adept at predicting the overall linear anisotropic mechanical properties of a vertebral trabecular bone (VTB) highly porous microstructure. A nested 3D modeling analysis framework spanning the multiscale nature of the VTB is presented herein. This hierarchical analysis framework employs the following micromechanical methods: the 3D parametric high-fidelity generalized method of cells (HFGMC) as well as the 3D sublaminate model. At the nanoscale level, the 3D HFGMC method is applied to obtain the effective elastic properties of a representative unit cell (RUC) representing the mineral collagen fibrils composite. Next at the submicron scale level, the 3D sublaminate model is used to generate the effective elastic properties of a repeated stack of multilayered lamellae demonstrating the nature of the trabeculae (bone-wall). Thirdly, at the micron scale level, the 3D HFGMC method is used again on a RUC of the highly porous VTB microstructure. The VTB-RUC geometries are taken from microcomputed tomography scans of VTB samples harvested from different vertebrae of human cadavers (n= 10). The predicted anisotropic overall elastic properties for native VTBs are, then, examined as a function of age and sex. The predicted results of the VTBs longitudinal Young’s modulus are compared to reported values found in the literature. The proposed 3D nested modeling analysis framework provides a good agreement with reported values of Young’s modulus of single trabeculae as well as for VTB-RUC in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-946
Number of pages14
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Mechanical properties
  • Micromechanics
  • Sublaminate
  • Vertebral trabecular bone


Dive into the research topics of 'A new multiscale micromechanical model of vertebral trabecular bones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this