Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Tarun Goswami (Advisor), Michael Herbenick (Committee Member), Chandler A. Phillips (Committee Member), David B. Reynolds (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)


Cortical bone is a porous structure. The presence of these pores creates the possibility of a local overstressed area that has the likelihood of premature failure. Some failure modes of the vertebral endplates, for example subsidence which occurs at rates as high as 77 percent, can be better predicted with further understanding of failure mechanisms and the ability to predict those mechanisms. A probabilistic assessment of the pore size and its contribution to the fracture toughness has not been investigated in the cortical shell of the vertebral endplates. This research develops a probabilistic model that has the ability to determine the fracture toughness of a deterministic cortical bone sample versus the probability of exceeding the crack length that causes failure. Also the model can compare the crack size limit to the thickness of cortical bone present. The work presented is a novel approach to determining probabilistic fracture toughness of vertebral cortical bone.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering

Year Degree Awarded