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Elastic Modulus Of Bone Using Ultrasonic Testing

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Unique Laboratory Experiments and Programs Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.589.1 - 12.589.7



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Paper Authors


Lanny Griffin California Polytechnic State University

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Lanny Griffin received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in Materials Science and Engineering. He also has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Currently, he is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He is also on the Mechanical Engineering faculty of the US Military Academy at West Point as an Army Reserve Officer. Dr. Griffin’s research interests are in bone mechanics and biomaterials and has been the Principal Investigator of several projects from the Army, DOD, and NIH.

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Victor Yu United States Military Academy

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Victor Yu received his MS in mechancal engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has been faculty at West Point for 3 years and is currently a medical student at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

should be emphasized such as the use of shape memory alloys (nickel-titanium alloys) in fabricating stents for implantation into the cardiovascular system.

The first class of the biomaterials block provided the students with a broad coverage of biomaterials such as the definition of a biomaterial, requirements for a biomaterial (such as biocompatibility), and a broad problem which enabled the students to apply their knowledge of fluid mechanics to model the turbulent flow of blood through an artery/vein by solving for the shear wall stress and normal stress. The students were thus able to relate engineering principles to biological systems. We believe that this class provided the students with a good introduction to biomaterials.

The second class taught at a very superficial level the body’s immune system and how the immune system causes rejection of an implanted structure (excessive neutrophilic reactions which necrotize the surrounding tissue, thus loosening the implanted material, etc.). We believe that this is also vital for the students to learn during the biological systems block.

Because the laboratory objectives deal with experimental determination of mechanical properties and anisotropy, the techniques could easily be transferred to other composite structural materials, such as wood. In this case, blocks of wood could be created and the basic procedure of measuring the density and finding the velocity using ultrasonic transmission could be easily performed and Equation 1 would be valid. However, by not using bone, it would be more difficult to separate the basic structural components of the composite by function as it was with bone. If, for more advanced students, one wanted to calculate all nine orthotropic coefficients, it would be necessary to have shear wave transducers in addition to the standard axial wave transducers. The elastic modulus and major Poisson’s ratio could be calculated from the elastic constants and might be a nice exercise for students. Adding that portion of the lab could help students appreciate the differences between isotropic materials and more complicated materials.

V. References

1. Rho, J.Y. (1996) An ultrasonic method for measuring the elastic properties of human tibial cortical and cancellous bone. Ultrasonics. 34:777-783.


Griffin, L., & Yu, V. (2007, June), Elastic Modulus Of Bone Using Ultrasonic Testing Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2757

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