Influence of mechanical stimulation on the quantity and quality of bone during modeling

Alycia G Berman, Purdue University


Skeletal fractures due to bone disease impact an estimated 1.5 million Americans per year, creating a large economic burden on our society. Treatment of bone diseases prior to fracture often involves bisphosphonates (current gold-standard in osteoporosis care and prevention). Although bisphosphonates decrease fracture incidence, they often improve bone mass without regard for bone quality. Thus, although bisphosphonates increase the amount of bone present, the inherent bone material strength often decreases, creating a trade-off that increases the risk of atypical fractures after long-term use. This trade-off demonstrates the need for a treatment that targets both bone quality AND quantity. Although bone quality is important, the components of bone that contribute to bone quality are incompletely understood, making it difficult to create new pharmacological agents. With this in mind, my particular area of interest is in understanding how mechanical stimuli protects the formation of bone, leading to improved bone quality. Initially, this area was explored through use of tibial loading in a disease mouse model (osteolathyrism, induced by injection of beta-aminoproprionitrile) as a means of assessing how the body is able to compensate for decreased bone quality. The results of the BAPN and tibial loading studies indicated that injecting mice with BAPN may not be the ideal method to induce osteolathyrism. However, other intriguing results from the BAPN studies then led us into an exploration of how tibial loading itself contributes to bone quality.




Wallace, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering|Biomechanics

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