The behavior of adaptive bone-remodelling simulation models

H. Weinans, H.W.J. Huiskes, H.J. Grootenboer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

477 Citations (Scopus)
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The process of adaptive bone remodeling can be described mathematically and simulated in a computer model, integrated with the finite element method. In the model discussed, cortical and trabecular bone are described as continuous materials with variable density. The remodeling rule applied to simulate the remodeling process in each element individually is, in fact, an objective function for an optimization process, relative to the external load. Its purpose is to obtain a constant, preset value for the strain energy per unit bone mass, by adapting the density. If an element in the structure cannot achieve that, it either turns to its maximal density (cortical bone) or resorbs completely. It is found that the solution obtained in generally a discontinuous patchwork. For a two-dimensional proximal femur model this patchwork shows a good resemblance with the density distribution of a real proximal femur. It is shown that the discontinuous end configuration is dictated by the nature of the differential equations describing the remodelling process
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1441
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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