Meir Barak, Ph.D., D.V.M.




Various methods have been used in the testing of the mechanical properties of cortical bone, specifically the young’s modulus. However, in the case of the material’s Young’s modulus in compression and tension, there is a significant disagreement among the published findings that may be a result of experimental artifacts. This study attempts to solve the scientific question of whether cortical bone is stiffer in compression or tension and if so to understand why that is. Using small samples taken from the distal portion of the neck of a femur belonging to a young white tailed deer, both the Young’s moduli in tension and compression were calculated for each sample. The sample was placed under loads that wouldn’t result in plastic deformation [max load of 140 Newtons) thus allowing the ability to use the same sample for both tension and compression without compromising its mechanical properties. Results show that elastic modulus is greatest while in tension, specifically in the load bearing cranial orientation.