Mechanical loading of trabecular bone affects the bone architecture. Bone mass is correlated to the magnitude of the external load and trabeculae are aligned to the loading direction. Physical exercise increases bone mass while disuse or microgravity decreases it. In previous work we have presented a mathematical model of bone metabolism that could explain the emergence, maintenance and adaptation of trabecular bone under influence of the load imposed, using a 2-dimensional computer model (Huiskes et al., Nature 404 (2000), 704-706). This model was based on hypothetical mathematical descriptions of bone formation by osteoblastic cells, and resorption by osteoclastic cells, both as governed by mechanical stimuli. In order to quantitatively compare the behavior of the proposed regulation mechanism to real trabecular bone metabolism we present a 3-dimensional computer simulation model. The first 3-dimensional simulation results show that the regulatory rules proposed earlier mimic trabecular bone metabolism in a robust way.
|Number of pages
|Published - 2003