Ageing bone fractures

December 18, 2020, 4:07 pm

My colleagues and I recently published a new paper: Ageing bone fractures: The case of a ductile to brittle transition that shifts with age

Our aim within this study was threefold: first to explore whether there is a ductile-to-brittle transition (DBT) in human bone and observe the likely transition point with respect to physiological in-vivo loading rates such as these in oureveryday life; second, to verify a shift to lower rates with respect to age, as we suspect that old bones might somehow be more brittle than young ones; third, to examine how absolute values of fracture resistance vary with age and strain rate.

The highlights of our work include:

  • Human bone becomes increasingly brittle with ageing
  • Bone is most fracture-resistant at physiologically prevalent medium loading rates and much weaker at fast loading rates
  • Bone experiences a ductile-to-brittle transition (DBT) on its way to fracture and with increasing loading rates
  • With ageing the DBT behaviour shifts to lower rates, hence in everyday life events ageing bones much more brittle

For more please check out our paper, here

Author Information

Prof Peter Zioupos

Biomedical Engineering, Materials

Prof Peter Zioupos

Peter's most recent works include Fracture toughness of Cancellous Bone and the biometrics of ACL reconstructions. He has appeared on TV in documentaries: one regarding 'free fall' accidents and another exploring the unexpected death of King Tutankhamen and has appeared on AUTUMNWATCH. Areas of expertise include Aging and Chronic Disease, and Human Factors for defence.