Bioengineering Mechanobiology Fracture Repair Vertebral Body Tissue differentiation
A. Boccaccio, D.J. Kelly & C. Pappalettere, A Mechano-Regulation Model of Fracture Repair in Vertebral Bodies, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 29, 3, 2010, 433-443
Journal of Orthopaedic Research 29 3
In this study a multi-scale mechano-regulation model was developed in order to investigate the
mechanobiology of trabecular fracture healing in vertebral bodies. A macro-scale finite element model of the
spinal segment L3-L4-L5, including a mild wedge fracture in the body of the L4 vertebra, was used to
determine the boundary conditions acting on a micro-scale finite element model simulating a portion of
fractured trabecular bone. The micro-scale model, in turn, was utilized to predict the local patterns of tissue
differentiation within the fracture gap and then how the equivalent mechanical properties of the macro-scale
model change with time. The patterns of tissue differentiation predicted by the model appeared consistent
with those observed in vivo. Bone formation occurred primarily through endochondral ossification. New
woven bone was predicted to occupy the majority of the space within the fracture site approximately 7-8
weeks after the fracture event. Remodeling of cancellous bone architecture was then predicted, with
complete new trabeculae forming due to bridging of the microcallus between the remnant trabeculae.
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