Mechanical Characterization of Fourth Generation Composite Humerus
Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Mechanical data on upper extremity surrogate bones, supporting use as biomechanical tools, is limited. The objective of this study was to characterize the structural behaviour of the fourth-generation composite humerus under simulated physiologic bending, specifically, stiffness, rigidity, and mid-diaphysial surface strains. Three humeri were tested in four-point bending, in anatomically defined anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) planes. Stiffness and rigidity were derived using load–displacement data. Principal strains were determined at the anterior, posterior, medial, and lateral surfaces in the humeral mid-diaphysial transverse plane of one specimen using stacked rosettes. Linear structural behaviour was observed within the test range. Average stiffness and rigidity were greater in the ML (918 ± 18 N/mm; 98.4 ± 1.9 Nm2) than the AP plane (833 ± 16 N/mm; 89.3 ± 1.6 Nm2), with little inter-specimen variability. The ML/AP rigidity ratio was 1.1. Surface principal strains were similar at the anterior (5.41 µε/N) and posterior (5.43 µε/N) gauges for AP bending, and comparatively less for ML bending, i.e. 5.1 and 4.5 µε/N, at the medial and lateral gauges, respectively. This study provides novel strain and stiffness data for the fourth-generation composite humerus and also adds to published construct rigidity data. The presented results support the use of this composite bone as a tool for modelling and experimentation.