Validating a voxel-based finite element model of a human mandible using digital speckle pattern interferometry

F Gröning* (Corresponding Author), J Liu, M J Fagan, P O'Higgins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Finite element analysis is a powerful tool for predicting the mechanical behaviour of complex biological structures like bones, but to be confident in the results of an analysis, the model should be validated against experimental data. In such validation experiments, the strains in the loaded bones are usually measured with strain gauges glued to the bone surface, but the use of strain gauges on bone can be difficult and provides only very limited data regarding surface strain distributions. This study applies the full-field strain measurement technique of digital speckle pattern interferometry to measure strains in a loaded human mandible and compares the results with the predictions of voxel-based finite element models of the same specimen. It is found that this novel strain measurement technique yields consistent, reliable measurements. Further, strains predicted by the finite element analysis correspond well with the experimental data. These results not only confirm the usefulness of this technique for future validation studies in the field of bone mechanics, but also show that the modelling approach used in this study is able to predict the experimental results very accurately.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1229
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number9
Early online date25 Apr 2009
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2009


  • finite element analysis
  • humans
  • imaging, three-dimensional
  • mandible
  • models, anatomic


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