Computational Mechanobiology in Cartilage and Bone Tissue Engineering: From Cell Phenotype to Tissue Structure

Part of the Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials book series (SMTEB, volume 10)


This chapter gives a short overview of computational models in cartilage and bone tissue engineering with a focus on how mechanical cues can regulate tissue regeneration on multiple levels, from cell phenotype to tissue architecture. The chapter begins with a brief review of single cell models with a focus on cell-substrate interactions and cytoskeletal remodelling. After summarising a number of current theories for mechanoregulated tissue differentiation, we explain how such hypotheses can either be corroborated or rejected by attempting to simulate in vivo regenerative events. We then outline a recently introduced model for MSC differentiation based on substrate stiffness and oxygen tension as well as how tissue phenotype and organisation can be explored simultaneously within a computational model. The application of computational models to aid in the design of scaffolds for bone and cartilage repair is demonstrated. We also outline how such models can be used in the design and analysis of bioreactors, demonstrating how changes in tissue structure in response to mechanical loading during bioreactor culture can potentially impact the mechanical properties of the final engineered constructs. The chapter closes with a short overview of multiscale models with relevance to tissue engineering.


Tissue Engineering Focal Adhesion Tissue Differentiation Fracture Healing Representative Volume Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Dr. Patrick McGarry for image material. Funding was provided by IRCSET (G30345) and a SFI PIYRA award (08/YI5/B1336).


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Bioengineering, Trinity Biomedical Sciences InstituteTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, School of EngineeringTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland

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