Computational determination of the critical microcrack size that causes a remodeling response in a trabecula: A feasibility study

Amit Gefen*, Ron Neulander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bone is a living tissue, which undergoes continuous renewal to repair local defects. Two separate processes, adaptation and remodeling, are involved when a defect appears. The defect produces stress concentrations that provoke regional adaptation, and is gradually repaired, first by resorption and then by deposition of new bone. Using a mathematical formulation of the adaptation mechanism in trabeculae of cancellous bone, we hypothesize that in some cases, where a microcrack is small enough relative to the dimensions of the trabecula, the adaptation response of the whole trabecula may be sufficient to regain homeostatic mechanical conditions (with no need for a remodeling process). The simulation results showed that for trabeculae with nominal length of 900 μm and nominal thickness of 80-800 μm, a microcrack with minimal length of 48 μm and minimal depth of 13% of the trabecula's thickness was required to initiate a remodeling process. A longer (100 μm) but shallower (depth of 7% of the trabecula's thickness) crack also triggered remodeling. These computational results support our hypothesis that when a microcrack small enough relative to the dimensions of the trabecula occurs, adaptation of the whole trabecula may be sufficient to regain homeostatic mechanical conditions with no need for a local remodeling process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-237
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Biomechanics
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Biomechanical computer model
  • Cancellous bone

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