The role of impairment of mesenchymal stem cell function in osteoporotic bone fracture healing

Lihai Zhang, Saeed Miramini, Martin Richardson, Priyan Mendis, Peter Ebeling

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12 Citations (Scopus)


With demographic change and increasing life expectancy, osteoporotic fractures have become one of the most prevalent trauma conditions seen in daily clinical practice. A variety of factors are known to affect the rate of healing in osteoporotic conditions (e.g. both biochemical and biomechanical environment of callus cells). However, the influence of impairment of mesenchymal stem cell function in the osteoporotic condition on bone fracture healing has not been fully understood. In the present study, we develop a mathematical model that quantifies the change in biological processes within the fracture callus as a result of osteoporosis. The model includes special features of osteoporosis such as reduction in mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) number in osteoporotic bone, impaired response of osteoporotic MSCs to their biomechanical microenvironment and the effects of configuration of locking compression plate (LCP) system on healing in this context. The results presented here suggest that mechanically-mediated MSCs differentiation at early stages of healing are significantly affected under osteoporotic conditions, while it is predicted that the flexible fixation achieved by increasing bone-plate distance of LCP could alleviate the negative effects of osteoporosis on healing. The outcomes of this study could potentially lead to patient specific surgical solutions, and thus achieve optimal healing outcomes in osteoporotic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-610
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • Bone fracture healing
  • Locking compression plate
  • Mechano-regulation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Osteoporosis

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