The application of scanning acoustic microscopy in a bone remodeling study

Sheu Jane Shieh, M. C. Zimmerman, N. A. Langrana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM) was used in the evaluation of bone remodeling around a cylindrical unicortical defect. SAM is a technique for the nondestructive evaluation of materials, and has only recently been employed as an orthopaedic research tool. The utility of SAM was demonstrated by using it to measure an elastic property known as acoustic impedance. Specifically, the acoustic impedance of bone formed by remodeling around a cylindrical defect was measured. The defects were filled with either a low modulus “void” or rigid inclusion to create various states of stress in the bone in the vicinity of the defect. After six months of implantation of the inclusions in the sheep metatarsal, new bone formation on periosteal and endosteal surfaces about the defect region was observed. These regions of new bone were less stiff and had 18.0 ± 6.5% lower acoustic impedance than the pre-existing bone in the intracortical region of the metatarsal. There was no difference in the degree of new bone formation about void and rigid inclusions. Both underwent significant adaptational changes in response to the elevated stress about the defect. These changes affected the basic structure of the bone cross-section at the level of the defect and effectively reduced the stress levels about the defect. By using SAM to measure acoustic impedance, it was seen that little internal remodeling occurred in the intracortical region. Hence, the primary mechanism of strain-induced bone remodeling observed in this experimental model was surface remodeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-292
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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