Research on Digital volume correlation (DVC)

Strain uncertainties from two digital volume correlation approaches in prophylactically augmented vertebrae

A newly developed technique called digital volume correlation (DVC) can be used to access the internal deformation of heterogeneous materials and structures.
DVC has been exploited over the past decade to measure complex deformation fields within biological tissues, such as bone and other biological materials.

Clinical use of DVC

However, before adopting this promising technique in a clinically-relevant context, the research community should focus on understanding the reliability of such method in different applications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the precision of this method applied with two different approaches to different microstructures within vertebral bodies treated with a biomaterial, usually used for fixing vertebral fractures.


The results showed that the precision of both approaches depended mainly on one input parameter and on the different microarchitecture found within the samples.  One of the two methods, ShIRT-FE (combination of the Sheffield image registration toolkit of a finite element software package) was found to be more accurate at the border as less affected by the absence of features outside the specimen.

Conclusion of this study

In conclusion, this study has provided, for the first time, a factual indication of the reliability and limitations for the application of DVC in estimating the micromechanics of different portions of the vertebral body. Furthermore, the current results could provide very useful information for the validation of subject-specific computational models based on high-resolution images of a vertebra with injectable biomaterials.

Full text

Tozzi, G., Dall’Ara, E., Palanca, M., Curto, M., Innocente, F., Cristofolini, L. (2017), “Strain uncertainties from two digital volume correlation approaches in prophylactically augmented vertebrae: local analysis on bone and cement-bone microstructures”, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 67, pp 117-126, URL: