Journal of Biomechanics vol:37 issue:5 pages:763-9
The application of a bone chamber provides a controlled environment for the study of tissue differentiation and bone adaptation. The influence of different mechanical and biological factors on the processes can be measured experimentally. The goal of the present work is to numerically model the process of peri-implant tissue differentiation inside a bone chamber, placed in a rabbit tibia. 2D and 3D models were created of the tissue inside the chamber. A number of loading conditions, corresponding to those applied in the rabbit experiments, were simulated. Fluid velocity and maximal distortional strain were considered as the stimuli that guide the differentiation process of mesenchymal cells into fibroblasts, chondrocytes and osteoblasts. Mesenchymal cells migrate through the chamber from the perforations in the chamber wall. This process is modelled by the diffusion equation. The predicted tissue phenotypes as well as the process of tissue ingrowth into the chamber show a qualitative agreement with the results of the rabbit experiments. Due to the limited number of animal experiments (four) and the observed inter-animal differences, no quantitative comparison could be made. These results however are a strong indication of the feasibility of the implemented theory to predict the mechano-regulation of the differentiation process inside the bone chamber.