An interface damage model that captures crack propagation at the microscale in cortical bone using XFEM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reliable tools for fracture risk assessment are necessary to handle the challenge with an aging population and the increasing occurrence of bone fractures. As it is currently difficult to measure local damage parameters experimentally, computational models could be used to provide insight into how cortical bone microstructure and material properties contribute to the fracture resistance. In this study, a model for crack propagation in 2D at the microscale in cortical bone was developed using the extended finite element method (XFEM). By combining the maximum principal strain criterion with an additional interface damage formulation in the cement line, the model could capture crack deflections at the osteon boundaries as observed in experiments. The model was used to analyze how the Haversian canal and the interface strength of the cement line affected the crack trajectory in models depicting osteons with three different orientations in 2D. Weak cement line interfaces were found to reorient the propagating cracks while models with strong interfaces predicted crack trajectories that penetrated the cement line and propagated through the osteons. The presented model is a promising tool that could be used to analyze how local, age-related material changes influence the crack trajectory and fracture resistance in cortical bone.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Materials


  • Cement line, Crack deflection, Haversian canal, Microstructure, Osteon
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-565
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Anna Gustafsson, 2019 Nov 11, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lund university. 178 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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Related projects

Anna Gustafsson, Hanna Isaksson & Mathias Wallin

Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF


Project: DissertationIndividual research project, Internal collaboration (LU)

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