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Roosevelt A. da Silva, Heberton S.C. de Souza, Ismael V.L. Costa and Henrique A. Fernandes
Bone is a dynamic tissue that is constantly being remodeled by the action of osteoclasts (OC) and osteoblasts (OB), which are responsible for bone resorption and formation, respectively. The mechanism through which these cells help the bone tissue remain healthy is still unclear. Great efforts have been made toward the elucidation of bone loss, especially in the case of menopausal women, in order to lessen the effects of osteoporosis. It is known that protein and hormonal alterations may lead to an imbalance in the activities of OC and OB, thereby favoring the onset of bone disease. Other causes that are not associated with this imbalance are currently under investigation. We have carried out computer simulations in order to identify topological arrangements that could result in natural bone loss during the remodeling process. On the basis of a 2D model, which treats the OC and OB cells explicitly, bone remodeling was guided by an OB activation function of the 1/r^4 type (r = distance to the site resorbed by OC), whose value determines bone formation when a predefined Activation Threshold (AT) is exceeded. We have verified the existence of a critical AT that can significantly affect bone mass balance, thus producing failures in the geometric arrangement of the trabecula. These failures become inevitable and irreversible with age.
Monte Carlo simulations, bone remodeling, osteoporosis.