Effect of ultrasound on bone fracture healing: A computational mechanobioregulatory model
Bone healing process is a complicated phenomenon regulated by biochemical and mechanical signals. Experimental studies have shown that ultrasound (US) accelerates bone ossification and has a multiple influence on cell differentiation and angiogenesis. In a recent work of the authors, a bioregulatory model for providing bone-healing predictions was addressed, taking into account for the first time the salutary effect of US on the involved angiogenesis. In the present work, a mechanobioregulatory model of bone solidification under the US presence incorporating also the mechanical environment on the regeneration process, which is known to affect cellular processes, is presented. An iterative procedure is adopted, where the finite element method is employed to compute the mechanical stimuli at the linear elastic phases of the poroelastic callus region and a coupled system of partial differential equations to simulate the enhancement by the US cell angiogenesis process and thus the oxygen concentration in the fractured area. Numerical simulations with and without the presence of US that illustrate the influence of progenitor cells’ origin in the healing pattern and the healing rate and simultaneously demonstrate the salutary effect of US on bone repair are presented and discussed.
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