Mechanical effects of postmortem changes, preservation, and allograft bone treatments

R. Bruce Martin, Neil A. Sharkey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

28 Scopus citations


A topic of fundamental importance in bone mechanics is how accurately the mechanical properties of bone, measured in some postmortem, ex vivo state, represent bone tissue as it exists in the living body. The central questions here are (1) How do the mechanical properties of bone tissue change when its cells die and/or it is removed from the body? (2) How do various means of preserving bone tissue against postmortem changes alter its in vivo mechanical properties? These questions are manifest in two broad areas of orthopedic research. First, they are of obvious concern to those experimentalists who wish to understand structure-function relationships in bone, and others who wish to define changes in mechanical properties caused by genetic variability, aging, disease, medical treatments, and so forth. Second, they are of interest to the surgeon in the context of bone allografts. The storing of bone for these purposes raises questions analogous to those encountered by the experimentalist. In addition, treatment of allografts to prevent immune responses or the transmission of infectious organisms may also affect mechanical properties. This chapter reviews a diverse literature concerning these interrelated and important questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBone Mechanics Handbook, Second Edition
PublisherCRC Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781420036589
ISBN (Print)9780849391170
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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