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Structure and Mechanics
John D. Currey

Paperback | 2006 | $67.50 | £56.95 | ISBN: 9780691128047
456 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 151 line illus. 38 tables.
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This is a comprehensive and accessible overview of what is known about the structure and mechanics of bone, bones, and teeth. In it, John Currey incorporates critical new concepts and findings from the two decades of research since the publication of his highly regarded The Mechanical Adaptations of Bones. Crucially, Currey shows how bone structure and bone's mechanical properties are intimately bound up with each other and how the mechanical properties of the material interact with the structure of whole bones to produce an adapted structure.

For bone tissue, the book discusses stiffness, strength, viscoelasticity, fatigue, and fracture mechanics properties. For whole bones, subjects dealt with include buckling, the optimum hollowness of long bones, impact fracture, and properties of cancellous bone. The effects of mineralization on stiffness and toughness and the role of microcracking in the fracture process receive particular attention. As a zoologist, Currey views bone and bones as solutions to the design problems that vertebrates have faced during their evolution and throughout the book considers what bones have been adapted to do. He covers the full range of bones and bony tissues, as well as dentin and enamel, and uses both human and non-human examples.

Copiously illustrated, engagingly written, and assuming little in the way of prior knowledge or mathematical background, Bones is both an ideal introduction to the field and also a reference sure to be frequently consulted by practicing researchers.


"Currey's book admirably accomplishes the goal of making the vast field of research into bone mechanics and adaptations accessible to serious investigators in other disciplines. . . . It conveys the contagious enthusiasm of a mentor guiding his reader into the heart of his specialty."--Mary W. Marzke, American Journal of Human Biology

"A remarkable summary of bone structure and mechanics, full of interesting insights and creative thoughts to spark dozens of dissertations. I am glad to have it on my shelf."--R. Bruce Martin, Journal of Biomechanics


"This is a highly readable book with excellent illustrations. It will be required reading for all those interested in the mechanical testing of mineralized tissues or in a biological understanding of bone adaptation to mechanical loading. The author's evaluations of the topics that form the leading edge of bone research are remarkably thoughtful, well reasoned, and nicely documented."--Steve Cowin, City University of New York

"Written by a highly respected biologist, this work is unique in that it integrates a comprehensive treatment of skeletal biology at the tissue and organismal levels with principles of evolutionary biology, zoology, and animal locomotion. It is written in a uniquely interesting way that is understandable to both experts and relative novices in the field."--David D. Burr, Indiana University School of Medicine

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