Bilateral symmetry of biomechanical properties in rat femora

G. Aaron Battraw, Verma Miera, Philip L. Anderson, John A. Szivek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In many studies, bone healing and remodeling have been examined in various animal models using one femur as a control for the contralateral femur based on the assumption that they are bilaterally symmetrical. Symmetry studies have been limited mainly to geometrical properties. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not there is symmetry in the mechanical properties of rat femora. Two strain gauges were attached to the anterior surface parallel to the long axis of explanted femora of retired female breeder and 120-day-old male Sprague Dawley rats. Femora were mechanically tested in cantilever bending and the strain values were recorded. Moments of inertia, cortical areas, and moduli of elasticity were determined from strains and cross sectional properties. Female femora showed a bilateral strain difference of less than 2.2% and an elastic modulus difference of less than 8.7%. Males had less than 2.0% and 7.9% differences for strain and elastic moduli, respectively. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference between left and right femoral strain values for the females, but modulus differences were significantly different at the p = 0.05 level. There was no significant difference in strain and modulus values for the males, indicating mechanical and geometrical symmetry of their femora.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-288
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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