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Center For Applied and Computational Mathematics

Dynamics of Bone Remodeling

Bone Cell Signaling

Faculty: David Ross


In humans and other mammals the skeleton is continuously remodeled, that is, dissolved and rebuilt; human bone has an annual turnover rate of about 10 per cent. Understanding the biochemical processes of bone remodeling is important to the development of treatments for the disease osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone mass, and which puts those who have it at risk of bone fractures. Osteoporosis results from an imbalance in the biochemical remodeling process, when resorption - the chemical breakdown of old bone - outstrips the formation of new bone. The most common cause of osteoporosis is age-related hormone change, the reduction of estrogen in women after menopause, and the reduction of testosterone in older men. Roughly 20 per cent of women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. Dynamical system models, and other sorts of biomathematical models, have been used to gain understanding of bone remodeling and to investigate treatments for osteoporosis and related diseases. Some of these models are ambitiously large, accounting for enough of the biochemical elements to constitute plausible platforms for realistic simulations of treatments. Others are small models designed to capture essential mechanisms; such models promote understanding. The purpose of this research is to provide a better understanding of the mathematical structure of various models used in understanding the bone remodeling process.



  1. Dynamics of Cell Signaling and PTH Treatments for Ostoporosis, D. S. Ross, C. Battista, A. Cabal, K. Mehta, J. Disc. Cont.. Dyn. Sys Series B, 17 (6), 2185-2200. doi:10.3934/dcdsb.2012.17.2185


Antonio Cabal (Merck and Co.)
Khamir Mehta (Merck and Co.)