0
REVIEW ARTICLES: Mechanics Applied to Living Organisms

Structural Adaptation of Bones

[+] Author and Article Information
S. C. Cowin

Department of Mechanical Engineering, City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY 10031

Appl. Mech. Rev 43(5S), S126-S133 (May 01, 1990) doi:10.1115/1.3120791 History: Online April 30, 2009

Abstract

Living bone tissue, like many other connective tissues, is a structural material that adapts its form and microstructure to changing environmental loading conditions. Bone tissue adapts not only its shape, but also its density and the details of its microstructure including its anisotropy. The anisotropy of bone is adapted in both its degree or strength and in the orientation of its principal axes of symmetry. These adaptive features of bone tissue are often referred to as aspects of Wolff’s law, although, strictly speaking, the term “Wolff’s law” applies only to the structural adaptation of spongy or trabecular bone. In this paper the composition, microstructure, mechanical properties and structurally adaptive features of bone are briefly reviewed. An algebraic formulation of Wolff’s law at remodeling equilibrium is described, and the nature of an evolutionary Wolff’s law is sketched.

Copyright © 1990 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Figures

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In