We developed a computer model to simulate the interaction of biological and mechanobiological factors in the development of the cross-sectional morphology of long bones. The model incorporated a strong influence of biologically induced bone formation during early development. In addition, an assumed mechanical loading history during growth and development corresponding to age-related changes in body weight and muscle mass was applied. Based on the bone stress stimulus generated by the assumed loads, mechanically induced apposition and resorption rates were calculated at the periosteal and endosteal surfaces using a previously developed bone modeling theory. These methods successfully emulated the growth-related changes seen in long bone diaphyseal structure as well as changes observed in mature bones during aging. The simulations recreated the rapid increase in bone dimensions during development, stabilizing at maturity, and then the gradual, age-related subperiosteal expansion and cortical thinning. Throughout the growth, development, and aging simulations, the values of the bone radii, area, moments of inertia, and apposition rates corresponded well with measurements documented by other researchers.
Bone; Mechanical adaptation; Bone development; Modeling