Using point clouds to investigate the relationship between trabecular bone phenotype and behavior: An example utilizing the human calcaneus

Objectives: The objective of this study is to demonstrate a new method for analyzing trabecular bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in three dimensions.

Methods: We use a combination of automatic mesh registration, point-cloud correspondence registration, and P-value corrected univariate statistical tests to compare bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy on a point by point basis across the entire calcaneus of two human groups with different subsistence strategies.

Results: We found that the patterns of high and low bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy distribution between the Black Earth (hunter-gatherers) and Norris Farms (mixed-strategy agriculturalists) are very similar, but differ in magnitude. The hunter-gatherers exhibit higher levels of bone volume fraction and less anisotropic trabecular bone organization. Additionally, patterns of bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in the calcaneus correspond well with biomechanical expectations of relative forces experienced during walking and running.

Conclusions: We conclude that comparing site-specific, localized differences in trabecular bone variables such as bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in three-dimensions is a powerful analytical tool. This method makes it possible to determine where similarities and differences between groups are located within the whole skeletal element of interest. The visualization of multiple variables also provides a way for researchers to see how the trabecular bone variables interact within the morphology, and allows for a more nuanced understanding of how they relate to one another and the broader mechanical environment.

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Work Title Using point clouds to investigate the relationship between trabecular bone phenotype and behavior: An example utilizing the human calcaneus
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Open Access
Creators
  1. Lily J.D. DeMars
  2. Nicholas B. Stephens
  3. Jaap P.P. Saers
  4. Adam Gordon
  5. Jay T. Stock
  6. Timothy M. Ryan
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
Publisher
  1. American Journal of Human Biology
Publication Date August 13, 2020
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23468
Deposited March 07, 2024

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Version 1
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  • Created
  • Added Demars_et_al.__2021.pdf
  • Added Creator Lily J.D. DeMars
  • Added Creator Nicholas B. Stephens
  • Added Creator Jaap P.P. Saers
  • Added Creator Adam Gordon
  • Added Creator Jay T. Stock
  • Added Creator Timothy M. Ryan
  • Published
  • Updated Description, Publication Date Show Changes
    Description
    • <p>Objectives: The objective of this study is to demonstrate a new method for analyzing trabecular bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in three dimensions. Methods: We use a combination of automatic mesh registration, point-cloud correspondence registration, and P-value corrected univariate statistical tests to compare bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy on a point by point basis across the entire calcaneus of two human groups with different subsistence strategies. Results: We found that the patterns of high and low bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy distribution between the Black Earth (hunter-gatherers) and Norris Farms (mixed-strategy agriculturalists) are very similar, but differ in magnitude. The hunter-gatherers exhibit higher levels of bone volume fraction and less anisotropic trabecular bone organization. Additionally, patterns of bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in the calcaneus correspond well with biomechanical expectations of relative forces experienced during walking and running. Conclusions: We conclude that comparing site-specific, localized differences in trabecular bone variables such as bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in three-dimensions is a powerful analytical tool. This method makes it possible to determine where similarities and differences between groups are located within the whole skeletal element of interest. The visualization of multiple variables also provides a way for researchers to see how the trabecular bone variables interact within the morphology, and allows for a more nuanced understanding of how they relate to one another and the broader mechanical environment.</p>
    • <p>Objectives: The objective of this study is to demonstrate a new method for analyzing trabecular bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in three dimensions.
    • Methods: We use a combination of automatic mesh registration, point-cloud correspondence registration, and P-value corrected univariate statistical tests to compare bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy on a point by point basis across the entire calcaneus of two human groups with different subsistence strategies.
    • Results: We found that the patterns of high and low bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy distribution between the Black Earth (hunter-gatherers) and Norris Farms (mixed-strategy agriculturalists) are very similar, but differ in magnitude. The hunter-gatherers exhibit higher levels of bone volume fraction and less anisotropic trabecular bone organization. Additionally, patterns of bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in the calcaneus correspond well with biomechanical expectations of relative forces experienced during walking and running.
    • Conclusions: We conclude that comparing site-specific, localized differences in trabecular bone variables such as bone volume fraction and degree of anisotropy in three-dimensions is a powerful analytical tool. This method makes it possible to determine where similarities and differences between groups are located within the whole skeletal element of interest. The visualization of multiple variables also provides a way for researchers to see how the trabecular bone variables interact within the morphology, and allows for a more nuanced understanding of how they relate to one another and the broader mechanical environment.</p>
    Publication Date
    • 2021-03-01
    • 2020-08-13
  • Updated