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Vol. 37 No. 2, March/April 2000
Pages 235 - 244

A model of mechanobiologic and metabolic influences on bone adaptation

Christopher J. Hernandez, MS; Gary S. Beaupré, PhD; Dennis R. Carter, PhD

Rehabilitation Research and Development Center, Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA 94304; Biomechanical Engineering Division, Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

ABSTRACT — Bone adaptation, the process through which bone mass is modified in the body, plays a key role in the development of osteoporosis. Bone adaptation is known to be influenced by both mechanical and metabolic stimuli. Previous studies have concentrated on changes in bone adaptation caused by mechanical stimuli (mechanobiologic influences), yet current treatments for osteoporosis depend significantly on metabolic influences. We develop a theoretical model of bone adaptation that accounts for both mechanobiologic and metabolic influences. We demonstrate the utility of this model using a simulation of the cellular processes of bone adaptation on a representative volume of cancellous bone. Our long-term objective is the development of a more comprehensive computational model that will aid in the study of osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

Key words: bone adaptation, computer modeling, mechanobiology, osteoporosis

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