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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 376474, 14 pages
Research Article

Strain Amplification Analysis of an Osteocyte under Static and Cyclic Loading: A Finite Element Study

1Sansom Institute for Health Research, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
2College of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Shanghai Jianqiao University, Shanghai 201319, China
3School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia

Received 23 June 2014; Revised 21 September 2014; Accepted 25 September 2014

Academic Editor: Despina Deligianni

Copyright © 2015 Liping Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Osteocytes, the major type of bone cells which reside in their lacunar and canalicular system within the bone matrix, function as biomechanosensors and biomechanotransducers of the bone. Although biomechanical behaviour of the osteocyte-lacunar-canalicular system has been investigated in previous studies mostly using computational 2-dimensional (2D) geometric models, only a few studies have used the 3-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) model. In the current study, a 3D FE model was used to predict the responses of strain distributions of osteocyte-lacunar-canalicular system analyzed under static and cyclic loads. The strain amplification factor was calculated for all simulations. Effects on the strain of the osteocyte system were investigated under 500, 1500, 2000, and 3000 microstrain loading magnitudes and 1, 5, 10, 40, and 100 Hz loading frequencies. The maximum strain was found to change with loading magnitude and frequency. It was observed that maximum strain under 3000-microstrain loading was higher than those under 500, 1500, and 2000 microstrains. When the loading strain reached the maximum magnitude, the strain amplification factor of 100 Hz was higher than those of the other frequencies. Data from this 3D FE model study suggests that the strain amplification factor of the osteocyte-lacunar-canalicular system increases with loading frequency and loading strain increasing.