Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering vol:6 issue:5-6 pages:277-88
Nowadays, there is a growing consensus on the impact of mechanical loading on bone biology. A bone chamber provides a mechanically isolated in vivo environment in which the influence of different parameters on the tissue response around loaded implants can be investigated. This also provides data to assess the feasibility of different mechanobiological models that mathematically describe the mechanoregulation of tissue differentiation. Before comparing numerical results to animal experimental results, it is necessary to investigate the influence of the different model parameters on the outcome of the simulations. A 2D finite element model of the tissue inside the bone chamber was created. The differentiation models developed by Prendergast, et al. ["Biophysical stimuli on cells during tissue differentiation at implant interfaces", Journal of Biomechanics, 30(6), (1997), 539-548], Huiskes et al. ["A biomechanical regulatory model for periprosthetic fibrous-tissue differentiation", Journal of Material Science: Materials in Medicine, 8 (1997) 785-788] and by Claes and Heigele ["Magnitudes of local stress and strain along bony surfaces predict the course and type of fracture healing", Journal of Biomechanics, 32(3), (1999) 255-266] were implemented and integrated in the finite element code. The fluid component in the first model has an important effect on the predicted differentiation patterns. It has a direct effect on the predicted degree of maturation of bone and a substantial indirect effect on the simulated deformations and hence the predicted phenotypes of the tissue in the chamber. Finally, the presence of fluid also causes time-dependent behavior. Both models lead to qualitative and quantitative differences in predicted differentiation patterns. Because of the different nature of the tissue phenotypes used to describe the differentiation processes, it is however hard to compare both models in terms of their validity.