Statistical osteoporosis models using composite finite elements: A parameter study

Uwe Wolfram*, Lars Ole Schwen, Ulrich Simon, Martin Rumpf, Hans-Joachim Wilke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Osteoporosis is a widely spread disease with severe consequences for patients and high costs for health care systems. The disease is characterised by a loss of bone mass which induces a loss of mechanical performance and structural integrity. It was found that transverse trabeculae are thinned and perforated while vertical trabeculae stay intact. For understanding these phenomena and the mechanisms leading to fractures of trabecular bone due to osteoporosis, numerous researchers employ micro-finite element models. To avoid disadvantages in setting up classical finite element models, composite finite elements (CFE) can be used. The aim of the study is to test the potential of CFE. For that, a parameter study on numerical lattice samples with statistically simulated, simplified osteoporosis is performed. These samples are subjected to compression and shear loading. Results show that the biggest drop of compressive stiffness is reached for transverse isotropic structures losing 32 % of the trabeculae (minus 89.8% stiffness). The biggest drop in shear stiffness is found for an isotropic structure also losing 32% of the trabeculae (minus 67.3% stiffness). The study indicates that losing trabeculae leads to a worse drop of macroscopic stiffness than thinning of trabeculae. The results further demonstrate the advantages of CFEs for simulating micro-structured samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2205-2209
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2009


  • Composite finite elements
  • Micro-finite element models
  • Osteoporosis
  • Trabecular bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Statistical osteoporosis models using composite finite elements: A parameter study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this