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Network architecture strongly influences the fluid flow pattern through the lacunocanalicular network in human osteons

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Van Tol,  Alexander
Richard Weinkamer, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Roschger,  Andreas
Wolfgang Wagermaier, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Repp,  Felix
Richard Weinkamer, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

Chen ,  J.
Wolfgang Wagermaier, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Fratzl,  Peter
Peter Fratzl, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Weinkamer,  Richard
Richard Weinkamer, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Van Tol, A., Roschger, A., Repp, F., Chen, J., Roschger, P., Berzlanovich, A., et al. (2020). Network architecture strongly influences the fluid flow pattern through the lacunocanalicular network in human osteons. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 19(3), 823-840. doi:10.1007/s10237-019-01250-1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-48F7-4
Abstract
A popular hypothesis explains the mechanosensitivity of bone due to osteocytes sensing the load-induced flow of interstitial fluid squeezed through the lacunocanalicular network (LCN).However, the way in which the intricate structure of the LCN influences fluid flow through the network is largely unexplored. We therefore aimed to quantify fluid flow through real LCNs from human osteons using a combination of experimental and computational techniques. Bone samples were stained with rhodamine to image the LCN with 3D confocal microscopy. Image analysis was then performed to convert image stacks into mathematical network structures, in order to estimate the intrinsic permeability of the osteons as well as the load-induced fluid flow using hydraulic circuit theory. Fluid flow was studied in both ordinary osteons with a rather homogeneous LCN as well as a frequent subtype of osteons—so-called osteon-in-osteons—which are characterized by a ring-like zone of low network connectivity between the inner and the outer parts of these osteons. We analyzed 8 ordinary osteons and 9 osteon-in-osteons from the femur midshaft of a 57-year-old woman without any known disease. While the intrinsic permeability was 2.7 times smaller in osteon-in-osteons compared to ordinary osteons, the load-induced fluid velocity was 2.3 times higher. This increased fluid velocity in osteon-in-osteons can be explained by the longer path length, needed to cross the osteon from the cement line to the Haversian canal, including more fluid-filled lacunae and canaliculi. This explanation was corroborated by the observation that a purely structural parameter—the mean path length to the Haversian canal—is an excellent predictor for the average fluid flow velocity. We conclude that osteon-in-osteons may be particularly significant contributors to the mechanosensitivity of cortical bone, due to the higher fluid flow in this type of osteons.