Elastic properties of microstructural components of human bone tissue as measured by nanoindentation. Academic Article uri icon


  • The elastic properties of several microstructural components of dry human vertebrae (T-12 and L-1) and tibiae have been investigated in the longitudinal and transverse directions using nanoindentation. The largest Young's modulus was that for the interstitial lamellae in the longitudinal direction (25.7 +/- 1.7 GPa). This was followed in decreasing order by osteons in the longitudinal direction (22.4 +/- 1.2 GPa), trabeculae in the longitudinal direction (19.4 +/- 2.3 GPa), an average over osteons and interstitial lamellae in the transverse direction [16.6 +/- 1.1 GPa (it was difficult to microstructurally distinguish osteons from interstitial lamellae in the transverse direction)], and trabeculae in the transverse direction (15.0 +/- 2.5 GPa). An ANOVA statistical analysis revealed that the values all are significantly different (p < 0.05). Since the elastic moduli in the longitudinal direction are all greater than in the transverse, measurable elastic anisotropies exist in the components. The hardnesses also varied among the microstructural components in the range 0.52-0.74 GPa.

published proceedings

  • J Biomed Mater Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Rho, J. Y., Roy, M. E., Tsui, T. Y., & Pharr, G. M.

citation count

  • 280

complete list of authors

  • Rho, JY||Roy, ME||Tsui, TY||Pharr, GM

publication date

  • April 1999