Mechanical properties of infant bone

Catherine G. Ambrose, Miriam Soto Martinez, Xiaohong Bi, Juanita Deaver, Cole Kuzawa, Lindsey Schwartz, Brian Dawson, Angela Bachim, Urszula Polak, Brendan Lee, Christian Crowder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Although an understanding of bone material properties is crucial for interpreting and predicting fracture patterns due to injury or defining the effects of disease on bone strength, information about infant bone properties is scant in the literature. In this study we present the mechanical testing results from 47 tibia and 52 rib specimens taken from 53 infant decedents in order to further our understanding of infant bone strength. Bone specimens were imaged using microCT and tested in three-point bending until failure. Extrinsic and intrinsic properties demonstrated an increase in strength and stiffness over the first year of life, while ductility measures remained largely unchanged. Donor race had no effect on the material properties, but tibia bone specimens showed significant sex differences, with the elastic modulus from females being larger than males. When compared to properties from adolescent and adult donors, infant bone is less strong, less stiff, and more ductile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomechanics
  • Infant bone
  • Material properties
  • Post-yield behavior
  • Rib fracture
  • Three-point bending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology
  • Physiology


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