Measurements of the static friction coefficient between bone and muscle tissues

Sharon Shacham, David Castel, Amit Gefen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed at measuring the static coefficient of friction (μ) between bone and skeletal muscle tissues in order to support finite element (FE) modeling in orthopaedic and rehabilitation research, where such contact conditions need to be defined. A custom-made friction meter (FM) that employs the load cell and motion-controlled loading arm of a materials testing machine was designed for this study. The FM was used to measure μ between fresh ulna bones and extensor muscles surrounding the ulna, which were harvested from five young adult pigs. Mean bone-muscle μ were between 0.36 and 0.29, decreased with the increase in loads applied on the bone (p<0.05) and plateaued at a mean ∼0.3 for loads exceeding 4 N. Hence, for FE modeling of bone-muscle contacts through which loads with magnitudes of kgs to 10s-of-kgs are transferred, assuming μ of ∼0.3 appears to be appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Biomechanical model
  • Finite element analysis
  • Mechanical properties
  • Porcine tissues
  • Tissue tribology


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