Mechanical validation of whole bone composite tibia models
Review articleOpen access

AbstractComposite synthetic models of the human tibia have recently become commercially available as substitutes for cadaveric specimens. Their use is justified by the advantages they offer as a substitute for real tibias. The present investigation concentrated on an extensive experimental validation of the mechanical behaviour of the whole bone composite model, compared to human specimens for different loading conditions. The stiffness of the tibias was measured with a torsional load applied along the long axis, and with a bending load applied both in the latero-medial and in the antero-posterior direction. The bending stiffness of the composite tibias matched well with that of the cadaveric specimens. This was not true for the torsional stiffness. In fact, the composite tibias were much stiffer than the cadaveric specimens, possibly due to the structure of the reinforcement material. The inter-specimen variability for the composite tibias was much lower than that for the cadaveric specimens. Thus, it seems that the composite tibias are suitable to replace cadaveric specimens for certain types of test, whereas they might be unsuitable for others, depending on the loading regimen.

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