Fragility assessment of bovine cortical bone using scratch tests

Kavya Mendu, Amrita Kataruka, Jasmine Puthuvelil, Ange Therese Akono*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Bone is a complex hierarchical material with five distinct levels of organization. Factors like aging and diseases like osteoporosis increase the fragility of bone, making it fracture-prone. Owing to the large socio-economic impact of bone fracture in our society, there is a need for novel ways to assess the mechanical performance of each hierarchical level of bone. Although stiffness and strength can be probed at all scales – nano-, micro-, meso-, and macroscopic – fracture assessment has so far been confined to macroscopic testing. This limitation restricts our understanding of bone fracture and constrains the scope of laboratory and clinical studies. In this research, we investigate the fracture resistance of bone from the microscopic to the mesoscopic length scales using micro scratch tests combined with nonlinear fracture mechanics. The tests are performed in the short longitudinal orientation on bovine cortical bone specimens. A meticulous experimental protocol is developed and a large number (102) of tests are conducted to assess the fracture toughness of cortical bone specimens while accounting for the heterogeneity associated with bone microstructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56488
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number129
StatePublished - Nov 30 2017


  • Bioengineering
  • Bovine specimens
  • Cortical bone
  • Fracture scaling
  • Fracture toughness
  • Issue 129
  • Micro scratch technique
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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