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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2017, Article ID 2471368, 9 pages
Research Article

In Vivo Assessment of Elasticity of Child Rib Cortical Bone Using Quantitative Computed Tomography

1Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Ifsttar, LBMC UMR_T9406, 69622 Lyon, France
2School of Automotive Studies, Tongji University, Shanghai 201804, China
3Service de Radiologie, Hôpital Femme Mère Enfant, Lyon, France
4Service de Radiologie, Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud, Pierre-Bénite, France
5Arts et Metiers ParisTech, LBM/Institut de Biomecanique Humaine Georges Charpak, 151 Bd de l’Hopital, 75013 Paris, France
6Service de Chirurgie Orthopédique et Traumatologique-Hôpital d’Instruction des Armées Desgenettes, 69003 Lyon, France

Correspondence should be addressed to F. Bermond; rf.rattsfi@dnomreb.siocnarf

Received 1 December 2016; Revised 23 February 2017; Accepted 12 March 2017; Published 9 July 2017

Academic Editor: Serkan Inceoglu

Copyright © 2017 Y. Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Elasticity of the child rib cortical bone is poorly known due to the difficulties in obtaining specimens to perform conventional tests. It was shown on the femoral cortical bone that elasticity is strongly correlated with density for both children and adults through a unique relationship. Thus, it is assumed that the relationships between the elasticity and density of adult rib cortical bones could be expanded to include that of children. This study estimated in vivo the elasticity of the child rib cortical bone using quantitative computed tomography (QCT). Twenty-eight children (from 1 to 18 y.o.) were considered. Calibrated QCT images were prescribed for various thoracic pathologies. The Hounsfield units were converted to bone mineral density (BMD). A relationship between the BMD and the elasticity of the rib cortical bone was applied to estimate the elasticity of children’s ribs in vivo. The estimated elasticity increases with growth (7.1 ± 2.5 GPa at 1 y.o. up to 11.6 ± 1.9 GPa at 18 y.o.). This data is in agreement with the few previous values obtained using direct measurements. This methodology paves the way for in vivo assessment of the elasticity of the child cortical bone based on calibrated QCT images.