Plastic behaviour of microstructural constituents of cortical bone tissue: a nanoindentation study

Adel A. Abdel Wahab, Vadim V. Silberschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A mechanical behaviour of bone tissues is defined by mechanical properties of its microstructural constituents. Also, those properties are important as an input for finite-element models of cortical bone to simulate its deformation and fracture behaviours at the microstructural level. The aim of this study was to investigate a post-yield behaviour of osteonal cortical bone's microstructural constituents at different loading rates, maximum load levels and dwell times; nanoindentation with a spherical-diamond-tip indenter was employed to determine it. The nanoindentation results revealed significant difference in stiffness values of cortical bone's microstructural features - interstitial matrix and osteons. Similarly, interstitial matrix exhibited a stiffer post-yield behaviour compared to that of osteons that reflects the relationship between the post-yield behaviour and collagen maturity. In addition, both osteons and interstitial matrix demonstrated a time-dependent behaviour. However, in order to assess elastic-plastic behaviour accurately, an effect of viscosity on nanoindentation results was reduced by using a time-delay method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-157
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Experimental and Computational Biomechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • cortical bone
  • nanoindentation
  • flow stress
  • flow strain
  • osteons
  • interstitial matrix
  • post-yield behaviour
  • plastic behaviour
  • microstructural constituents
  • mechanical behaviour
  • microstructure
  • bone tissues
  • finite element method
  • FEM
  • modelling
  • simulation
  • deformation
  • fracture
  • stiffness values
  • collagen maturity
  • viscosity
  • nanotechnology


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