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3rd Conference of the Greek Society of Biomechanics, 26-28 September 2008, Athens, Greece BIOMECHANICAL TESTING OF OSTEOPOROTIC RAT

LONG BONES A. Mitousoudis 1 , P. Lelovas 2, C. K. Yiannakopoulos 2, G. P. Lyritis 2, I. A. Dontas 2, S. K. Kourkoulis 1 1 Department of Mechanics, National Technical University of Athens 2 Department of Surgery, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, M. Asias Str. 22 Goudi, Athens, Hellas,

1. Introduction Osteoporosis decreases the bone mineral density and deteriorates the mechanical strength predisposing to low-energy fragility fractures. Its prevalence in the middle- and third-aged population is increasing worldwide, due to the lengthened lifespan. This study demonstrates the effect of postmenopausal osteoporosis on the biomechanical properties of the femur in the mature rat ovariectomy model.

Fig.1: Typical specimen during the three point test, before failure.

Fig.2: The left rat femur after failure

2. Methods Twelve healthy female Wistar rats aged 15 months were separated into 2 groups, including littermates in both. Half of them underwent bilateral ovariectomy and the rest served as controls. The rats were euthanized at 24 months of age and their left femorals were subjected to three point bending to determine the mechanical properties of the femoral diaphysis and the fracture strength as well as the strain energy density absorbed. The tests were performed with an MTS 858 Mini Bionix frame. The femur was placed horizontally on rounded edges at a distance of 22 mm and the load was applied at the midpoint of the diaphysis in the A-P plane at a rate of 1 mm/minute until fracture. The load-displacement curves were recorded. Using the cross sectional femur properties (evaluated at the middiaphysis by pQCT) a correlation between the pQCT parameters and the results of the biomechanical testing was performed. To evaluate the effect of postmenopausal osteoporosis on the biomechanical properties of the femur in the mature rat ovariectomy model the peak force, ultimate stiffness, bending failure energy, ultimate bending stress and Young's modulus were calculated. 3. Results and Conclusions The stress strain graphs (at the bottom side at the mid-section of the specimens) for both groups tested are presented in Figs. 1 and 2. The results are recapitulated in Table 1. It can be clearly concluded that regarding the femoral three-point bending test, the control group rats showed the highest fracture load value and were significantly different from rats in the OVX group. On the other hand the control group had higher ultimate stress than the OVX group.

Fig 1: The stress-strain graph for the control group femurs

Fig. 2: The stress-strain graph for the OVX group


Control OVX

Fracture load (Nt) 143,4 24,4 114,3 12,7

Ultimate stress (MPa) 175,9 29,0 199,8 41,5

Total bone area (mm) 15,06 1,43 15,29 1,23

Table 1: Results of the experiments

References 1. Burstein A.H., Frankel V.H., A standart test for laboratory animal bone, J. Biomech 4:155-158: 1971. 2. Ekeland A., Engesaeter L.B., Langeland N., Mechanical properties of fractured and intact rat bone evaluated by bending, torsional and tensile tests, Acta Orthop. Scand. 52:605-613: 1981.