The mechanical effects of varying the depth of cement penetration in the cement–bone interface were investigated using finite element analysis (FEA) and validated using companion experimental data. Two FEA models of the cement–bone interface were created from micro-computed tomography data and the penetration of cement into the bone was varied over six levels each. The FEA models, consisting of the interdigitated cement–bone constructs with friction between cement and bone, were loaded to failure in tension and in shear. The cement and bone elements had provision for crack formation due to excessive stress. The interfacial strength showed a strong relationship with the average interdigitation (r2=0.97 and r2=0.93 in tension and shear, respectively). Also, the interface strength was strongly related with the contact area (r2=0.98 and r2=0.95 in tension and shear, respectively). The FEA results compared favorably to the stiffness–strength relationships determined experimentally. Overall, the cement–bone interface was 2.5 times stronger in shear than in tension and 1.15 times stiffer in tension than in shear, independent of the average interdigitation. More cracks occurred in the cement than in the bone, independent of the average interdigitation, consistent with the experimental results. In addition, more cracks were generated in shear than in tension. In conclusion, achieving and maintaining maximal infiltration of cement into the bone to obtain large interdigitation and contact area is key to optimizing the interfacial strength.
- Bone cement
- Finite element