Prediction of trabecular bone’s biomechanical (biological and mechanical) behavior has long eluded researchers and orthopaedic specialists in part due to bone’s non-homogeneity and its anisotropic, nonlinear biomechanical behavior. Although many micro finite element (μFE) models have been developed to simulate trabecular bone geometry and mechanical behavior, none are used to predict remodeling. The biomechanical behavior of bone is especially important when considering methods for promoting bone health throughout the aging process, preventing fractures, and improving surgical procedures and devices used for total joint replacement (TJR).
The goal of this research is to ultimately develop a computational model for predicting trabecular bone remodeling. The biomechanical response of trabecular bone will first be characterized experimentally using a combination of mechanical and imaging methods on live bone specimens—monitoring mechanical and morphological changes. These results will then be implemented in an algorithm that uses FE analysis in conjunction with known biological models for relevant cell differentiation and activation model. The algorithm will be tested using on a geometric model (derived from micro CT images) to predict the remodeling response of trabecular bone. A computational model that simulates trabecular bone would greatly augment the understanding of its biomechanical behavior and lead to improved osteoporosis treatment methods, joint implant designs, and surgical procedures that are dependent on patient-specific information.