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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2735091, 16 pages
Research Article

Effects of Frequency and Acceleration Amplitude on Osteoblast Mechanical Vibration Responses: A Finite Element Study

1The Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Orthopaedic Hospital of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou 510630, China
2Sansom Institute for Health Research, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
3School of Engineering, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5095, Australia

Received 22 June 2016; Revised 29 September 2016; Accepted 20 October 2016

Academic Editor: Ashraf S. Gorgey

Copyright © 2016 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.


Bone cells are deformed according to mechanical stimulation they receive and their mechanical characteristics. However, how osteoblasts are affected by mechanical vibration frequency and acceleration amplitude remains unclear. By developing 3D osteoblast finite element (FE) models, this study investigated the effect of cell shapes on vibration characteristics and effect of acceleration (vibration intensity) on vibrational responses of cultured osteoblasts. Firstly, the developed FE models predicted natural frequencies of osteoblasts within 6.85–48.69 Hz. Then, three different levels of acceleration of base excitation were selected (0.5, 1, and 2 g) to simulate vibrational responses, and acceleration of base excitation was found to have no influence on natural frequencies of osteoblasts. However, vibration response values of displacement, stress, and strain increased with the increase of acceleration. Finally, stress and stress distributions of osteoblast models under 0.5 g acceleration in Z-direction were investigated further. It was revealed that resonance frequencies can be a monotonic function of cell height or bottom area when cell volumes and material properties were assumed as constants. These findings will be useful in understanding how forces are transferred and influence osteoblast mechanical responses during vibrations and in providing guidance for cell culture and external vibration loading in experimental and clinical osteogenesis studies.