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Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing








Bone cells sense mechanical load, which is essential for bone growth and remodeling. In a fracture, this mechanism is compromised. Electromagnetic stimulation has been widely used to assist in bone healing, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. A recent hypothesis suggests that electromagnetic stimulation could influence tissue biomechanics; however, a detailed quantitative understanding of EM-induced biomechanical changes in the bone is unavailable. This paper used a muscle/bone model to study the biomechanics of the bone under EM exposure. Due to the dielectric properties of the muscle/bone interface, a time-varying magnetic field can generate both compressing and shear stresses on the bone surface, where many mechanical sensing cells are available for cellular mechanotransduction. I calculated these stresses and found that the shear stress is significantly greater than the compressing stress. Detailed parametric analysis suggests that both the compressing and shear stresses are dependent on the geometrical and electrical properties of the muscle and the bone. These stresses are also functions of the orientation of the coil and the frequency of the magnetic field. It is speculated that the EM field could apply biomechanical influence to fractured bone, through the fine-tuning of the controllable field parameters.


Author Posting. © International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2018. This article is posted here by permission of the IFMBE for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, 2018,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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