Annals of Biomedical Engineering
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© 2020, The Author(s). Continuum-level finite element models (FEMs) of the humerus offer the ability to evaluate joint replacement designs preclinically; however, experimental validation of these models is critical to ensure accuracy. The objective of the current study was to quantify experimental full-field strain magnitudes within osteoarthritic (OA) humeral heads by combining mechanical loading with volumetric microCT imaging and digital volume correlation (DVC). The experimental data was used to evaluate the accuracy of corresponding FEMs. Six OA humeral head osteotomies were harvested from patients being treated with total shoulder arthroplasty and mechanical testing was performed within a microCT scanner. MicroCT images (33.5 µm isotropic voxels) were obtained in a pre- and post-loaded state and BoneDVC was used to quantify full-field experimental strains (≈ 1 mm nodal spacing, accuracy = 351 µstrain, precision = 518 µstrain). Continuum-level FEMs with two types of boundary conditions (BCs) were simulated: DVC-driven and force-driven. Accuracy of the FEMs was found to be sensitive to the BC simulated with better agreement found with the use of DVC-driven BCs (slope = 0.83, r2 = 0.80) compared to force-driven BCs (slope = 0.22, r2 = 0.12). This study quantified mechanical strain distributions within OA trabecular bone and demonstrated the importance of BCs to ensure the accuracy of predictions generated by corresponding FEMs.