Numerical modeling of bone tissue adaptation-A hierarchical approach for bone apparent density and trabecular structure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, a three-dimensional model for bone remodeling is presented, taking into account the hierarchical structure of bone. The process of bone tissue adaptation is mathematically described with respect to functional demands, both mechanical and biological, to obtain the bone apparent density distribution (at the macroscale) and the trabecular structure (at the microscale). At global scale bone is assumed as a continuum material characterized by equivalent (homogenized) mechanical properties. At local scale a periodic cellular material model approaches bone trabecular anisotropy as well as bone surface area density. For each scale there is a material distribution problem governed by density-based design variables which at the global level can be identified with bone relative density. In order to show the potential of the model, a three-dimensional example of the proximal femur illustrates the distribution of bone apparent density as well as microstructural designs characterizing both anisotropy and bone surface area density. The bone apparent density numerical results show a good agreement with Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) exams. The material symmetry distributions obtained are comparable to real bone microstructures depending on the local stress field. Furthermore, the compact bone porosity is modeled giving a transversal isotropic behavior close to the experimental data. Since, some computed microstructures have no permeability one concludes that bone tissue arrangement is not a simple stiffness maximization issue but biological factors also play an important role.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)830-837
JournalJournal Of Biomechanics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Cite this