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Role of chemical and mechanical stimuli in mediating bone fracture healing

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Summary

1. Bone is a remarkable living tissue that provides a framework for animal body support and motion. However, under excessive loads and deformations, bone is prone is to damage through fracture. Furthermore, once the bone is weakened by osteoporosis, bone fracture can occur even after only minimal trauma.

2. Various techniques have been developed to treat bone fractures. Successful treatment outcomes depend on a fundamental understanding of the biochemical and biomechanical environments of the fracture site. Various cell types (e.g. mesenchymal stem cells, chondrocytes, osteoblasts and osteoclasts) within the fracture site tightly control the healing process by responding to the chemical and mechanical microenvironment. However, these mechanochemical regulatory mechanisms remain poorly understood at the system level owing to the large range of variables, such as age, sex and disease‐associated material properties of the tissue.

3. Computational modelling can play an important role in unravelling this complexity by combining mechanochemical interactions, revealing the dominant controlling processes and optimizing system behaviour, thereby enabling the development and evaluation of treatment strategies for individual patients.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Infrastructure Engineering 2: Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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