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Advisory Committee Chair

Palaniappan Sethu

Advisory Committee Members

Yabing Chen

Glenn Rowe

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME) School of Engineering

Abstract

Clinically, the concept of bone building being the result of mechanical adaptation in healthy individuals has been accepted since Wollf’s Law in 1892. Despite many attempts to understand this mechanism, very little is known about the role mechanical forces play on bone molecularly. Current biomechanical theory supports the concept of osteocytes and bone lining cells creating a three-dimensional network that provides biochemical signaling as a result of mechanical loading. With pressure gradient and interstitial fluid flow models being used as methods of mechanical loading, yet there are still unanswered questions about the validity of both models. The suggested solution lies within the possible application of deformation through direct contact. To further understand the mechanotransductive properties of bone cells, a novel system designed to apply compressive forces is used to examine the effect of deformation on osteogenesis. This system subjects a monolayer of cells to compressive forces by using deformation normal to the x-y plane (Mode III) within the compliancy behavior region, the resulting applied tension is released resulting in the cells observing compressive forces. In this study, the effects of compression on osteogenesis will be observed through physiological, molecular and extra-cellular matrix changes. The results showed that direct contact compression increased osteogenesis by showing higher values of extracellular matrix markers hydroxyapatite. The validation of this system will be the first step in formulating a system that can mimic all forces seen in bone remodeling, hydrostatic, direct compression and fluid flow. This final product will help further understand the biochemical response to bone rebuilding forces and understanding of adaptive behavior of bone and lose of this ability with age.

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