Abstract

Live bone is a very dynamic tissue under constant remodeling in response to the mechanical loading it sustains. However, the exact load-sensing mechanism of bone tissue is not yet clear. Recent studies suggest that the electrical aspect of bone physiology, especially the streaming potential, may play an important role in relaying the mechanical signal to the effector bone cells in bone remodeling [1] [2] [3]. In this paper, we use cable theory to calculate the intracellular potential and current in the bone cell network induced by the extracellular strain generated streaming potentials (SGPs). As an extension to our earlier paper on this subject, Zhang et al. [5], we focus our attention on the following five aspects:

<1> influence of the axisymmetric, cylindrical geometry of the osteon on the SGP calculation;

<2> influence of one discrete gap junction in a cellular cable;

<3> influence of a range of the membrane resistance (hence the membrane time constant);

<4> influence of the extracellular glycocalyx (GAG) fiber matrix in the lacunae-canaliculi space on the SGP calculation;

<5> influence of a range of the membrane leakage area of a resting osteoblast as one end of the cellular cable.

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