Mechanical Regulation of Bone Development
One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will develop a bone fracture due to osteoporosis. The thinning of bones and the breakdown of cartilage results in skeletal diseases. The real-life impact of skeletal diseases can have a huge effect on individuals’ lives, but also on the economy. In Ireland, it is estimated that skeletal diseases cost the economy €1.6 billion per annum.
Movement – and the lack of movement – has been shown to be crucial for bone development. The lack of skeletal muscle during embryonic development results in a reduction in bone growth. From children to fully grown adults, the importance of movement has been shown for continuous bone function. It is not fully understood how cells of bones and joints respond to movement at a cellular level.
Integrating techniques and information from two different scientific sources could provide what is required for regeneration of tissue that is the biological quality for regeneration therapies. The aim of this study is to try to identify how different forms of movement and different growth factors affect the genetic regulation of bone growth. In using this information, it may be possible to grow bone and cartilage within the lab environment that could be used for regeneration therapies for skeletal diseases.