Multiscale Mechanics of Bone

jasiukIwona Jasiuk

Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

bone-structureBone is a biological material that, among its other functions, serves as a structural support for the body. It has excellent properties when healthy: high stiffness, strength and fracture toughness, and low weight. Those superior properties of bone are a result of its complex composite and hierarchical structure (Fig. 1). In this talk, we characterize the multiscale structure and composition of bone (healthy vs. diseased, young vs. old) using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, micro-computed tomography, spectroscopy (Raman and Fourier Infrared), and ash and water content, and measure mechanical properties of bone using nanoindentation, microindentation (reference point indentation), and tensile, compressive, and bending tests. Those experimental results are used as inputs for our predictive theoretical models and their validation. Our particular interest is to relate the experimental data obtained by the reference point indentation technique, which has potential to be used in vivo in a clinical setting, to the results obtained using more traditional mechanical properties testing methods. Results of this study have a wide range of applications in orthopedics, including simulations of bone-implant interactions, more accurate assessment of bone quality, and earlier diagnosis of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.


  1. Hamed, I. Jasiuk, A. Yoo, Y. Lee, and T. Liszka (2012), “Multi-scale Modeling of Elastic Moduli of Trabecular Bone,” Journal of the Royal Society Interface 9 (72), 1654-1673.
  2. Hamed and I. Jasiuk (2013), “Multiscale Damage and Strength of Lamellar Bone Modeled by Cohesive Finite Elements,” Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 28, 94-110.
  3. Setters and I. Jasiuk (2014), “Towards a Standardized Reference Point Indentation Testing Procedure,” Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 34, 57-65.



Iwona Jasiuk is a Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds affiliate faculty appointments in the departments of Bioengineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, and part-time faculty appointments in the Institute of Genomic Biology, the Beckman Institute, and the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab at UIUC. She has authored or co-authored nearly 90 journal papers and 50+ conference papers, and presented 100+ conference papers and 60+ invited seminars. She has been a co-editor of the Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures since 2009 and has served on the editorial boards of 9 journals. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Engineering Science (SES) and served as president of SES (2006). Her research interests are in mechanics of materials with a focus on biological tissues. Her current projects include ones addressing multiscale characterization and modeling of bone, bone adaptation and regenerations, new methods to characterize soft tissues, and modeling of soft tissue deformations during surgery.