Bones

Bones: Structure and Mechanics

JOHN D. CURREY
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 456
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt4cg9wv
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Bones
    Book Description:

    This is a comprehensive and accessible overview of what is known about the structure and mechanics of bone, bones, and teeth. In it, John Currey incorporates critical new concepts and findings from the two decades of research since the publication of his highly regarded The Mechanical Adaptations of Bones. Crucially, Currey shows how bone structure and bone's mechanical properties are intimately bound up with each other and how the mechanical properties of the material interact with the structure of whole bones to produce an adapted structure.

    For bone tissue, the book discusses stiffness, strength, viscoelasticity, fatigue, and fracture mechanics properties. For whole bones, subjects dealt with include buckling, the optimum hollowness of long bones, impact fracture, and properties of cancellous bone. The effects of mineralization on stiffness and toughness and the role of microcracking in the fracture process receive particular attention. As a zoologist, Currey views bone and bones as solutions to the design problems that vertebrates have faced during their evolution and throughout the book considers what bones have been adapted to do. He covers the full range of bones and bony tissues, as well as dentin and enamel, and uses both human and non-human examples.

    Copiously illustrated, engagingly written, and assuming little in the way of prior knowledge or mathematical background, Bones is both an ideal introduction to the field and also a reference sure to be frequently consulted by practicing researchers.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4950-5
    Subjects: Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-2)

    THIS BOOK deals with two complementary aspects of bone and bones: their structure and their mechanical properties. The design of the book is, I hope, more or less evident from the titles of the chapters. I discuss the structure of bone and bones in the first chapter and the mechanics of stiff materials in general in the second chapter, then in the long third chapter I describe the mechanical properties of what one may call “standard” bone tissue. This includes various attempts that have been made to model the mechanical behavior in terms of what we know about its structure...

  6. Chapter One THE STRUCTURE OF BONE TISSUE
    (pp. 3-26)

    THROUGHOUT this book I shall be suggesting that the structure of bone tissue, and of whole bones, makes sense only if its function, particularly its mechanical function, is known or guessed. (As Rik Huiskes of Eindhoven is fond of saying [2000]: “If bone is the answer, then what is the question?”) However, in this first chapter I shall deal only with the structure of bone, leaving almost all discussion of function until later. Of course, the mechanical properties of bone and bones are determined by their structure, and we cannot begin to understand the function without having a good idea...

  7. Chapter Two THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS
    (pp. 27-53)

    ANY BIOLOGICAL material has an enormous number of mechanical properties that may be measured and may also be tested by natural selection. Not all are likely to be of importance. I shall here discuss a question that will recur, by implication, frequently in this book: What are bones for? It is not worthwhile discussing at length the philosophical question of whether bone can be said to be designed. As a convinced Darwinist, I believe that living organisms have, except for some instructive exceptions, been nicely “designed,” or fitted, by the blind force of natural selection, for the conditions that their...

  8. Chapter Three THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF BONE
    (pp. 54-123)

    THIS CHAPTER deals with the basic mechanical properties of bone and with attempts that have been made to model this behavior. So much material has been gathered in the last few decades about the mechanical properties of bone that it would be futile to try to list it all. Fortunately, there is good agreement about most of the properties, so I shall take as datum points a few papers, and discuss the main variants in chapter 4. The mechanical properties I shall deal with are elastic properties (mainly Young’s modulus), strength (in tension, compression, and shear), fracture mechanics properties, creep...

  9. Chapter Four THE ADAPTATION OF MECHANICAL PROPERTIES TO DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS
    (pp. 124-145)

    IN GENERAL, the mechanical properties of bone material taken from limb bones of adult mammals and birds do not vary a great deal between different parts of the same bone, between bones, or between species. For instance, Biewener (1982) tested whole bones of animals as small as the mouse (0.04 kg body mass) and the painted quail (0.05 kg body mass). The strength of the bone material of these animals, and of somewhat larger ones, was about the same as the bone of the horse, the cow, and humans. However, as soon as one strays from testing the limb bone...

  10. Chapter Five CANCELLOUS BONE
    (pp. 146-173)

    THIS BOOK HAS until now dealt almost entirely with compact bone. In a trivial sense cancellous bone can be thought of as being compact bone with a large number of large interconnecting holes in it. However, this way of thinking does not take us very far and is often misleading. It turns out that cancellous bone is a highly specialized tissue, extremely different in its mechanical properties from compact bone. Its study takes us to that uneasy, quaking conceptual ground between material and structure where definitions are useless, and where we still have a great amount to learn.

    Three major...

  11. Chapter Six THE PROPERTIES OF ALLIED TISSUES
    (pp. 174-193)

    VERTEBRATES have evolved a number of tissues that, although they are not all called bone, are clearly very closely related to it, being made of collagen mineralized with hydroxyapatite. The tissues I shall deal with in this chapter are calcified cartilage, cement, dentin, and fish scales. I shall also consider enamel, which is very different from bone, having about 97% mineral by weight (Boyde 1989) and more or less lacking collagen. Although nonbony, it does have some extremely interesting structure–function relationships with instructive similarities to what is found in bone and some shell materials in mollusks. The early evolution...

  12. Chapter Seven THE SHAPES OF BONES
    (pp. 194-244)

    THE SHAPES of whole bones are marvelously varied and are, of course, intimately related to their functions. It would be futile to try to explain all the different shapes we see in mechanical terms, although it might be possible, in theory. But to do so even in a single case one would need to have a good idea of how the bone was loaded, and this is often very difficult to find out. This chapter will, therefore, deal principally with the adaptations of long bones, because they are relatively simple in shape and we have a reasonable idea of the...

  13. Chapter Eight ARTICULATIONS
    (pp. 245-271)

    BECAUSE BONES are rigid, problems are inevitable when it is necessary to move one in space relative to another. The joints between bones have an important influence on the functioning and design of the bony skeleton.

    The relative motions of two rigid bodies (elements) in space can be described by means of six independent modes of motion (fig. 8.1), three of translation and three of rotation. These independent modes are called degrees of freedom. If the two elements are independent, all six modes must be used to describe their relative positions and they are said to have six degrees of...

  14. Chapter Nine BONES, TENDONS, AND MUSCLES
    (pp. 272-308)

    THE BONY SKELETONS in a museum give such a good feeling for what the animals must have been like that we tend to forget what a skeleton is. We are looking only at the compression and shear-resisting members of a structure whose tension members have rotted away. In some ways, the whole of this book can be thought of as an extended Hamlet without the Prince. Bones have no functional meaning without their muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which move them and hold them together. Contrarily, muscles and tendons must always act against something comparatively unyielding, such as bone, cuticle, or...

  15. Chapter Ten SAFETY FACTORS AND SCALING EFFECTS IN BONES
    (pp. 309-336)

    IN CHAPTER 7, I discussed the mechanical properties of whole bones. However, there was an important omission in the discussion, which I must now try to fill. We have assumed that natural selection has, for instance, specified some load that must be borne without breaking or too much deflection. But why is this criterion set, rather than some other? In particular, what relationship does the load that the bone is designed to bear have to the loads that are encountered in life? This is a question of safety factors. The chapter also deals with a related question: What kinds of...

  16. Chapter Eleven MODELING AND RECONSTRUCTION
    (pp. 337-379)

    ONE OF THE most interesting problems in the whole of bone biology and mechanics is how bone responds adaptively to the loads that are imposed on it, and this chapter deals with it. Although it is an extremely interesting problem, it is not so supremely interesting as to justify, in itself, the relative amount of effort that is spent on it compared with all the other questions that can be asked about bone. The reason for the interest is money, of course. The modeling and remodeling ability of bone has important clinical consequences. Two examples: putting prostheses into bones changes...

  17. Chapter Twelve SUMMING UP
    (pp. 380-380)

    THERE IS NOTHING strange about bone. It may be difficult to understand; indeed, its hierarchical structure makes it particularly difficult to analyze. However, in its hierarchical structure lies its strength, literally, for it is this that makes it difficult for cracks to travel through. I am sure that, in not too many years’ time, we shall have an understanding of how bone tissue’s mechanical properties are determined by its structure.

    We see in bone starkly the compromise that any structure, be it natural or produced by humans must confront. The compromise is not always the same, but it is always...

  18. REFERENCES
    (pp. 381-424)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 425-436)