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Liège, Belgium

Geris L.,Catholic University of Leuven | Geris L.,Biomechanics Research Unit | Sloten J.V.,Catholic University of Leuven | Oosterwyck H.V.,Catholic University of Leuven
Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

Both mechanical and biological factors play an important role in normal as well as impaired fracture healing. This study aims to provide a mathematical framework in which both regulatory mechanisms are included. Mechanics and biology are coupled by making certain parameters of a previously established bioregulatory model dependent on local mechanical stimuli. To illustrate the potential added value of such a framework, this coupled model was applied to investigate whether local mechanical stimuli influencing only the angiogenic process can explain normal healing as well as overload-induced nonunion development. Simulation results showed that mechanics acting directly on angiogenesis alone was not able to predict the formation of overload-induced nonunions. However, the direct action of mechanics on both angiogenesis and osteogenesis was able to predict overload-induced nonunion formation, confirming the hypotheses of several experimental studies investigating the interconnection between angiogenesis and osteogenesis. This study shows that mathematical models can assist in testing hypothesis on the nature of the interaction between biology and mechanics. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Braem A.,Catholic University of Leuven | Van Mellaert L.,Rega Institute for Medical Research | Mattheys T.,Catholic University of Leuven | Hofmans D.,Rega Institute for Medical Research | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A

Implant-related infections are a serious complication in prosthetic surgery, substantially jeopardizing implant fixation. As porous coatings for improved osseointegration typically present an increased surface roughness, their resulting large surface area (sometimes increasing with over 700% compared to an ideal plane) renders the implant extremely susceptible to bacterial colonization and subsequent biofilm formation. Therefore, there is particular interest in orthopaedic implantology to engineer surfaces that combine both the ability to improve osseointegration and at the same time reduce the infection risk. As part of this orthopaedic coating development, the interest of in vitro studies on the interaction between implant surfaces and bacteria/biofilms is growing. In this study, the in vitro staphylococcal adhesion and biofilm formation on newly developed porous pure Ti coatings with 50% porosity and pore sizes up to 50 μm is compared to various dense and porous Ti or Ti-6Al-4V reference surfaces. Multiple linear regression analysis indicates that surface roughness and hydrophobicity are the main determinants for bacterial adherence. Accordingly, the novel coatings display a significant reduction of up to five times less bacterial surface colonization when compared to a commercial state-of-the-art vacuum plasma sprayed coating. However, the results also show that a further expansion of the porosity with over 15% and/or the pore size up to 150 μm is correlated to a significant increase in the roughness parameters resulting in an ascent of bacterial attachment. Chemically modifying the Ti surface in order to improve its hydrophilicity, while preserving the average roughness, is found to strongly decrease bacteria quantities, indicating the importance of surface functionalization to reduce the infection risk of porous coatings. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Carlier A.,Catholic University of Leuven | Chai Y.C.,Catholic University of Leuven | Moesen M.,Catholic University of Leuven | Theys T.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 4 more authors.
Acta Biomaterialia

Bone formation is a very complex physiological process, involving the participation of many different cell types and regulated by countless biochemical, physical and mechanical factors, including naturally occurring or synthetic biomaterials. For the latter, calcium phosphate (CaP)-based scaffolds have proven to stimulate bone formation, but at present still result in a wide range of in vivo outcomes, which is partly related to the suboptimal use and combination with osteogenic cells. To optimize CaP scaffold selection and make their use in combination with cells more clinically relevant, this study uses an integrative approach in which mathematical modeling is combined with experimental research. This paper describes the development and implementation of an experimentally informed bioregulatory model of the effect of calcium ions released from CaP-based biomaterials on the activity of osteogenic cells and mesenchymal stem cell driven ectopic bone formation. The amount of bone formation predicted by the mathematical model corresponds to the amount measured experimentally under similar conditions. Moreover, the model is also able to qualitatively predict the experimentally observed impaired bone formation under conditions such as insufficient cell seeding and scaffold decalcification. A strategy was designed in silico to overcome the negative influence of a low initial cell density on the bone formation process. Finally, the model was applied to design optimal combinations of calcium-based biomaterials and cell culture conditions with the aim of maximizing the amount of bone formation. This work illustrates the potential of mathematical models as research tools to design more efficient and cell-customized CaP scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. © 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Van Schepdael A.,Catholic University of Leuven | Geris L.,Biomechanics Research Unit | Geris L.,Catholic University of Leuven | Vander Sloten J.,Catholic University of Leuven
Medical Engineering and Physics

A dedicated software package that allows simulation of tooth movement can lead to shortening of the treatment program in orthodontics. A first step in the development of this software is the modelling of the movement of a single tooth. Forces applied to the crown of the tooth are transmitted to the alveolar bone through the periodontal ligament, stretching, and compressing the ligament, eventually resulting in tooth movement. This paper presents an analytical model that predicts stresses and strains inside this ligament by approximating the shape of the root as an elliptic paraboloid. The model input consists of 2 material parameters and 4 geometrical parameters. To assess the accuracy of the model a finite element model (FEM) was constructed to compare the results and the influence of the eccentricity of the root was studied. The results show that the model is able to successfully describe the global behavior of the PDL and, except at a region near the alveolar crest, the differences between analytical and FEM results are small. In contrast to FEM, the analytical model does not require setting up a 3D-model and creating a mesh, allowing for significantly lower computational times and reducing cost when implementing in clinical practice. © 2012 IPEM. Source

Van Schepdael A.,Catholic University of Leuven | Vander Sloten J.,Catholic University of Leuven | Geris L.,Biomechanics Research Unit | Geris L.,Catholic University of Leuven
Journal of Biomechanics

Progress in medicine and higher expectation of quality of life has led to a higher demand for several dental and medical treatments. This increases the occurrence of situations in which orthodontic treatment is complicated by pathological conditions, medical therapies and drugs. Together with experiments, computer models might lead to a better understanding of the effect of pathologies and medical treatment on tooth movement. This study uses a previously presented mechanobiological model of orthodontic tooth displacement to investigate the effect of pathologies and (medical) therapies on the result of orthodontic treatment by means of three clinically relevant case studies looking at the effect of estrogen deficiency, the effect of OPG injections and the influence of fluoride intake. When less estrogen was available, the model predicted bone loss and a rise in the number of osteoclasts present at the compression side, and a faster bone resorption. These effects were also observed experimentally. Experiments disagreed on the effect of estrogen deficiency on bone formation, while the mechanobiological model predicted very little difference between the pathological and the non-pathological case at formation sites. The model predicted a decrease in tooth movement after OPG injections or fluoride intake, which was also observed in experiments. Although more experiments and model analysis is needed to quantitatively validate the mechanobiological model used in this study, its ability to conceptually describe several pathological conditions is an important measure for its validity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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