This study presents the development of a number of finite element (FE) models of the pelvis using different continuum and structural modelling approaches. Four FE models were developed using different modelling approaches: continuum isotropic, continuum orthotropic, hybrid isotropic and hybrid orthotropic. The models were subjected to an iterative adaptation process based on the Mechanostat principle. Each model was adapted to a number of common daily living activities (walking, stair ascent, stair descent, sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit) by applying onto it joint and muscle loads derived using a musculoskeletal modelling framework. The resulting models, along with a structural model previously developed by the authors, were compared visually in terms of bone architecture, and their response to a single load case was compared to a continuum FE model derived from computed tomography (CT) imaging data. The main findings of this study were that the continuum orthotropic model was the closest to the CT derived model in terms of load response albeit having less total bone volume, suggesting that the role of material directionality in influencing the maximum orthotropic Young’s modulus should be included in continuum bone adaptation models. In addition, the hybrid models, where trabecular and cortical bone were distinguished, had similar outcomes, suggesting that the approach to modelling trabecular bone is less influential when the cortex is modelled separately.
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