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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 457371, 9 pages
Research Article

Prediction of Local Ultimate Strain and Toughness of Trabecular Bone Tissue by Raman Material Composition Analysis

Institute for Biomechanics, ETH Zurich, Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 3, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland

Received 10 August 2014; Revised 18 October 2014; Accepted 20 October 2014

Academic Editor: Jozef Zustin

Copyright © 2015 Roberto Carretta 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.


Clinical studies indicate that bone mineral density correlates with fracture risk at the population level but does not correlate with individual fracture risk well. Current research aims to better understand the failure mechanism of bone and to identify key determinants of bone quality, thus improving fracture risk prediction. To get a better understanding of bone strength, it is important to analyze tissue-level properties not influenced by macro- or microarchitectural factors. The aim of this pilot study was to identify whether and to what extent material properties are correlated with mechanical properties at the tissue level. The influence of macro- or microarchitectural factors was excluded by testing individual trabeculae. Previously reported data of mechanical parameters measured in single trabeculae under tension and bending and its compositional properties measured by Raman spectroscopy was evaluated. Linear and multivariate regressions show that bone matrix quality but not quantity was significantly and independently correlated with the tissue-level ultimate strain and postyield work . Principal component analysis extracted three independent components explaining 86% of the total variance, representing elastic, yield, and ultimate components according to the included mechanical parameters. Some matrix parameters were both included in the ultimate component, indicating that the variation in ultimate strain and postyield work could be largely explained by Raman-derived compositional parameters.