Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 851–860 | Cite as

Interstitial fluid flow in canaliculi as a mechanical stimulus for cancellous bone remodeling: in silico validation

Original Paper


Cancellous bone has a dynamic 3-dimensional architecture of trabeculae, the arrangement of which is continually reorganized via bone remodeling to adapt to the mechanical environment. Osteocytes are currently believed to be the major mechanosensory cells and to regulate osteoclastic bone resorption and osteoblastic bone formation in response to mechanical stimuli. We previously developed a mathematical model of trabecular bone remodeling incorporating the possible mechanisms of cellular mechanosensing and intercellular communication in which we assumed that interstitial fluid flow activates the osteocytes to regulate bone remodeling. While the proposed model has been validated by the simulation of remodeling of a single trabecula, it remains unclear whether it can successfully represent in silico the functional adaptation of cancellous bone with its multiple trabeculae. In the present study, we demonstrated the response of cancellous bone morphology to uniaxial or bending loads using a combination of our remodeling model with the voxel finite element method. In this simulation, cancellous bone with randomly arranged trabeculae remodeled to form a well-organized architecture oriented parallel to the direction of loading, in agreement with the previous simulation results and experimental findings. These results suggested that our mathematical model for trabecular bone remodeling enables us to predict the reorganization of cancellous bone architecture from cellular activities. Furthermore, our remodeling model can represent the phenomenological law of bone transformation toward a locally uniform state of stress or strain at the trabecular level.


Bone remodeling Cancellous bone Interstitial fluid flow Canaliculus Mathematical model Functional adaptation 



This study was partially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up (23860044) and the Funding Program for Next Generation World-Leading Researchers (LR017) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringOsaka Prefecture UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biomechanics, Research Center for Nano Medical Engineering, Institute for Frontier Medical SciencesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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