Biomechanical and molecular regulation of bone remodeling

Alexander G. Robling, Alesha B. Castillo, Charles H. Turner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Bone is a dynamic tissue that is constantly renewed. The cell populations that participate in this process-the osteoblasts and osteoclasts-are derived from different progenitor pools that are under distinct molecular control mechanisms. Together, these cells form temporary anatomical structures, called basic multicellular units, that execute bone remodeling. A number of stimuli affect bone turnover, including hormones, cytokines, and mechanical stimuli. All of these factors affect the amount and quality of the tissue produced. Mechanical loading is a particularly potent stimulus for bone cells, which improves bone strength and inhibits bone loss with age. Like other materials, bone accumulates damage from loading, but, unlike engineering materials, bone is capable of self-repair. The molecular mechanisms by which bone adapts to loading and repairs damage are starting to become clear. Many of these processes have implications for bone health, disease, and the feasibility of living in weightless environments (e.g., spaceflight).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
EditorsMartin Yarmush
Number of pages44
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
ISSN (Print)1523-9829


  • Bone density
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteoclast
  • Osteocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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