Computational homogenisation based extraction of transverse tensile cohesive responses of cortical bone tissue

Wenjin Xing, Tony Miller, Stuart Wildy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The numerical assessment of fracture properties of cortical bone is important in providing suggestions on patient-specific clinical treatments. We present a generic finite element modelling framework incorporating computational fracture approaches and computational homogenisation techniques. Finite element computations for statistical volume elements (SVEs) at the microscale are performed for different sizes with random osteon packing with a fixed volume fraction. These SVEs are loaded in the transverse direction under tension. The minimal SVE size in terms of ensuring a representative effective cohesive law is suggested to be 0.6 mm. Since cement lines as weak interfaces play a key role in bone fracture, the effects of their fracture properties on the effective fracture strength and toughness are investigated. The extracted effective fracture properties can be used as homogenised inputs to a discrete crack simulation at macroscopic or structural scale. The extrinsic toughening mechanisms observed in the SVE models are discussed with a comparison against experimental observations from the literature, giving beneficial insights to cortical bone failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number1
Early online date13 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Cortical bone
  • Computational homogenisation
  • Failure mechanisms
  • Cohesive laws


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