Computer Simulation Of Trabecular Remodeling In Human Proximal Femur Using Large-scale Voxel FE Models: Approach To Understanding Wolff's Law.
Ken-ichi Tsubota, Yusuke Suzuki, Tomonori Yamada, Masaki Hojo, Akitake Makinouchi, Taiji Adachi
Published 2009 · Engineering, Medicine
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Ever since Julius Wolff proposed the law of bone transformation in the 19th century, it has been widely known that the trabecular structure of cancellous bone adapts functionally to the loading environment. To understand the mechanism of Wolff's law, a three-dimensional (3D) computer simulation of trabecular structural changes due to surface remodeling was performed for a human proximal femur. A large-scale voxel finite element model was constructed to simulate the structural changes of individual trabeculae over the entire cancellous region. As a simple remodeling model that considers bone cellular activities regulated by the local mechanical environment, nonuniformity of local stress was assumed to drive the trabecular surface remodeling to seek a uniform stress state. Simulation results demonstrated that cell-scale ( approximately 10microm) remodeling in response to mechanical stimulation created complex 3D trabecular structures of the entire bone-scale ( approximately 10cm), as illustrated in the reference of Wolff. The bone remodeling reproduced the characteristic anisotropic structure in the coronal cross section and the isotropic structures in other cross sections. The principal values and axes of a structure characterized by fabric ellipsoids corresponded to those of the apparent stress of the structure. The proposed large-scale computer simulation indicates that in a complex mechanical environment of a hierarchical bone structure of over 10(4) length scale (from approximately 10microm to approximately 10cm), a simple remodeling at the cellular/trabecular levels creates a highly complex and functional trabecular structure, as characterized by bone density and orientation.
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