Hybrid Cellular Automaton Model of the Effect of Microcracks in Bone Remodeling

A. Tovar and A.S. Vera (Columbia)


Musculoskeletalsystem, bone remodeling, microcracks, computational model, hybrid cellular automata, fracture mechanics.


The hybrid cellular automaton (HCA) algorithm was developed to simulate the functional adaptation process in bone at the tissue level. In the HCA algorithm, osteocytes are represented by automata that sense the mechanical stimulus in their vicinity and activate local processes of apposition and resorption according to a control strategy. This methodology has been used to predict the adaptation of trabecular bone to changes in its physical environment. The objective of this work is to determine the effect of the microcracks in the remodeling process. The enhanced algorithm presented in this investigation incorporates me chanical fracture laws of engineered composite materials. That includes the relationship between microcrack growth rate and stress intensity. These laws predict the crack lengths and their orientation. The results demonstrate that microcrack growth rate initially decreases with the increment of stress intensity. However, when a minimum peak is reached, the microcrack growth rate increases. The results of this computational model are in agreement with studies performed by other authors.

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