An investigation has been made of the source and magnitude of anisotropic material properties of cancellous bone in the proximal epiphysis of the human tibia. Results are reported for stiffness measurements made in three orthogonal directions on 21 cubes of cancellous bone before testing to failure along one of the three principal axes. The structure is approximately transversely isotropic. Strength and stiffness are linear with area fraction for loading along the isotropic axis. Strength is proportional to stiffness for all directions. A finite element model is proposed, based on experimental observations, which enables one to predict the elastic constants of cylindrically structured cancellous bone in the tibia from morphological measurements in the transverse plane.

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