Computational Mechanobiology

Tissues in the musculoskeletal system are exquisitely designed with superb mechanical properties. The tissues are also able to adapt to withstand changing mechanical conditions. The Computational Mechanobiology Group is focused on understanding these two exciting features. Using computer modeling techniques, we seek to understand the mechanical behavior of tissues and their adaptive and regenerative response to mechanical stimuli at the different time and length scales.

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Peer-reviewed publications

  1. Albiol L, Cilla M, Pflanz D, Kramer I, Kneissel M, Duda GN, Willie BM, Checa S. Sost deficiency leads to reduced mechanical strains at the tibia midshaft in strain-matched in vivo loading experiments in mice. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2018 Apr;15(141).
  2.  Kruck B, Zimmermannn EA, Damerow S, Figge C, Julien C, Wulstein D, Thiele T, Martin M, Hamdy R, Reumann MK, Duda GN, Checa S, Willie BM. Sclerostin-neutralizing antibody treatment enhances bone formation but does not rescue mechanically-induced delayed healing. JBMR, 33(9):1686-1697 2018
  3. Moewis P, Checa S, Kutzner I, Hommel H, Duda GN. Physiological joint line total knee arthroplasty designs are especially sensitive to rotational placement - a finite element analysis. PLoSOne 2018, 13(2)
  4. Pobloth A-M, Checa S, Razi H, Petersen A, Weaver JC, Schmidt-Bleek K, Windolf M, Tatai AÁ, Roth CP, Schaser K-D, Duda GN, Schwabe P. Mechanobiologically optimized 3D titanium-mesh scaffolds enhance bone regeneration in critical segmental defects in sheep. Science Translational Medicine.10, eaam 8828 (2018) 10 January 2018.
  5. Yang H, Albiol L, Chand W Wulsten D, Seliger A, Thelen M, Thiele T, Spevak L, Boskey A, Kornak U, Checa S, Willie B. Examining tissue composition, whole-bone morphology and mechanical behavior of GorabPrx1 mice tibiae: a mouse model of premature aging. Journal of Biomechanics. 2017 8;65:145-153
  6. Cilla M, Borgiani E, Martinez J, Duda GN, Checa S. Machine learning techniques for the optimization of joint replacements: Application to a short-stem hip implant . PLoS One.  2017 Sep 5;12(9)
  7. Pflanz D, Birkhold AI, Albiol L, Thiele T, Julien C, Seliger A, Thomson E, Kramer I, Kneissel M, Duda GN, Kornak U, Checa S, Willie BM. Sost deficiency led to a greater cortical bone formation response to mechanical loading and altered gene expression. Scientific reports.  2017 Aug 25;7(1):9435
  8. Cilla M, Checa S, Preininger B, Winkler T, Perka C, Duda GN, Pumberger M. Femoral head necrosis: A finite element analysis of common and novel surgical techniques. Clin Biomech  2017 Oct;48:49-56
  9. Cilla M, Checa S, Duda GN. Strain shielding inspired re-design of proximal femoral stems for total hip arthroplasty. Journal of Orthopaedic Research.  2017 Nov;35(11):2534-2544
  10. Borgiani E, Duda GN, Checa S. Multiscale Modeling of Bone Healing: Toward a Systems Biology Approach. Front Physiol. 2017 May 8;8:287. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00287. eCollection 2017. Review
  11. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Checa S, Willie BM. (2016) Tomography-based quantification of regional differences in cortical bone surface remodeling and mechano-response. Calcified Tissue International, doi:10.1007/s00223-016-0217-4
  12. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Weinkamer R, Checa S, Willie BM. (2016) The Periosteal Bone Surface is Less Mechano-Responsive than the Endocortical. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 234800.
  13. Borgiani E, Duda GN, Willie BM, Checa S (2015) Bone healing in mice: does it follow generic mechano-regulation rules? Facta Universitatis. Series: Mechanical Engineering Vol. 13, No 3, pp. 217 - 227
  14. Razi H, Birkhold AI, Weinkamer R, Duda GN, Willie BM, Checa S (2015) Aging leads to a dysregulation in mechanically driven bone formation and resorption. J Bone Miner Res. 30(10):1864-73
  15. Bashkuev M, Checa S, Postigo S, Duda GN, Schmidt H (2015) Computational Analyses of Different Intervertebral Cages for Lumbar Spinal Fusion. Journal of Biomechanics. 48(12):3274-82
  16. Checa S, Hesse B, Roschger P, Aido M, Duda GN, Raum K, Willie BM (2015) Skeletal maturation substantially affects elastic tissue properties in the endosteal and periosteal regions of loaded mice tibiae. Acta Biomaterialia, 21: 154-64.
  17. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Weinkamer R, Duda GN, Checa S, Willie BM. (2015) Monitoring in vivo (re)modeling: a computational approach using 4D microCT data to quantify bone surface movements. Bone, 75: 210-21.
  18. Aido M, Kerschnitzki M, Hoerth R, Checa S, Spevak L, Boskey AL, Fratzl P, Duda GN, Wagermaier W, Willie BM (2015) Effect of in vivo loading on bone composition varies with animal age. Experimental Gerontology, 63: 48-58.
  19. Razi H, Birkhold AI, Zaslansky P, Weinkamer R, Duda GN, Willie B, Checa S (2015) Skeletal Maturity leads to a reduction in the strain magnitudes induced within the bone: A murine study. Acta Biomaterialia, 13:301-10
  20. Razi H, Birkhold AI, Zehn M, Duda GN, Willie B, Checa S (2014) A finite element model of in vivo mouse tibial compression loading: influence of boundary conditions. Facta Universitatis. Series: Mechanical Engineering Vol. 12, No 3, 2014, pp. 195 - 207
  21. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Weinkamer R, Checa S, Willie BM. (2014) The influence of age on adaptive bone formation and bone resorption. Biomaterials, 35(34): 9290-301
  22. Birkhold AI, Razi H, Duda GN, Weinkamer R, Checa S, Willie BM. (2014) Mineralizing surface is the main target of mechanical stimulation independent of age: 3D dynamic in vivo morphometry. Bone, 66: 15-25
  23. Aido M, Kerschnitzki M, Hoerth R, Burghammer M, Montero C, Checa S, Fratzl P, Duda GN, Willie BM, Wagermaier W. (2014) Relationship between nanoscale mineral properties and calcein labeling in mineralizing bone surfaces. Connect Tissue Res., 55 Suppl 1:15-7
  24. Postigo S, Schmidt H, Rohlmann A, Putzier M, Simón A, Duda G, Checa S. (2014) Investigation of different cage designs and mechano-regulation algorithms in the lumbar interbody fusion process - a finite element analysis. J Biomech.,47(6): 1514-9
  25. Checa S, Rausch M, Petersen A, Kuhl E, Duda G. (2014) The Emergence of Extracellular Matrix Mechanics and Cell Traction Forces as Important Regulators of Cellular Self-organization. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 14(1):1-13
  26. Willie BM, Birkhold AI, Razi H, Thiele T, Aido M, Kruck B, Schill A, Checa S, Main RP, Duda GN. (2014) Diminished response to in vivo mechanical loading in trabecular and not cortical bone in adulthood of female C57Bl/6 mice coincides with a reduction in deformation to load. Bone, 55(2): 335-46
  27. Mehta M, Checa S, Lienau J, Hutmacher D, Duda GN. (2012) In vivo tracking of segmental bone defect healing reveals that callus patterning is related to early mechanical stimuli. Eur Cell Mater. 2012 Nov 2;24:358-71
  28. Razi H, Checa S, Schaser KD, Duda GN. (2012) Shaping scaffold structures in rapid manufacturing implants: a modeling approach toward mechano-biologically optimized configurations for large bone defect. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater.; 100(7):1736-45.
  29. Checa S, Prendergast PJ, Duda GN. (2011). Inter-species investigation of the mechano-regulation of bone healing: Comparison of secondary bone healing in sheep and rat. Journal of Biomechanics; 44: 1237-45
  30. Khayyeri H, Checa S, Tägil M, Aspenberg P, Prendergast PJ. (2011) Variability observed in mechano-regulated in vivo tissue differentiation can be explained by variation in cell mechano-sensitivity. J Biomech. 7;44(6):1051-8
  31. Preininger B*, Checa S*, Molnar F, Fratzl P, Duda GN, Raum K. (2011) Spatial-temporal mapping of bone structural and elastic properties in a sheep model following osteotomy. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology; 37: 474-83 (*authors contributed equally)
  32. Khayyeri H, Checa S, Tägil M, O'Brien FJ, Prendergast PJ. (2010). Tissue differentiation in an in vivo bioreactor: in silico investigations of scaffold stiffness. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2010 Aug;21(8):2331-6
  33. Checa S, Prendergast PJ. (2010) Effect of cell seeding and mechanical loading on vascularization and tissue formation inside a scaffold: a mechano-biological model using a lattice approach to simulate cell activity. J. Biomechanics, 43: 961-8.
  34. Sandino C, Checa S, Prendergast PJ, Lacroix D. (2010) Simulation of angiogenesis and cell differentiation in a CaP scaffold subjected to unconfined compressive strain using a lattice modeling approach. Biomaterials, 31: 2446-2452.
  35. Khayyeri H, Checa S, Tägil M, Prendergast PJ. (2009) Corroboration of mechanobiological simulations of tissue differentiation in an in vivo bone chamber using a lattice-modeling approach. J Orthop Res.; 27(12):1659-66.
  36. Checa S, Prendergast PJ. (2009) A mechanobiological model for tissue differentiation that includes angiogenesis: a lattice-based modelling approach. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 37: 129-145.
  37. Checa S, Taylor M, New A. (2007). The influence of an interpositional spacer on the behaviour of the tibiofemoral joint. A finite element study. Clinical Biomechanics, 23: 1044-1052.

Book chapters

  1. Checa S, Byrne D, Prendergast PJ. (2009) Predictive modelling in mechanobiology: combining algorithms for cell activities in response to physical stimuli using a lattice modelling approach. In: Computer Methods in Mechanics – Advanced Structured Materials, 2010, Volume 1, V, 423-435, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-05241-5_22 (Editors: Mieczyslaw Kuczma, Krzysztof Wilmanski,), Springer.
  2. Checa S, Sandino S, Byrne DP, Kelly DJ, Lacroix D, Prendergast PJ. (2010) Computational techniques for selection of biomaterial scaffolds for tissue engineering, In Advances on modeling in Tissue Engineering - Computational Methods in Applied Sciences Volume 20, 2011, pp 55-69, (Editors: P.R. Fernandes, P. Bártolo), Springer
  3. Prendergast PJ, Checa S, Lacroix D. (2010) Computational models for tissue differentiation. In: Computational Methods in Biomechanics, (Editors: Suvranu De, Farsh Guilak, Mohammad Mofrad), Springer: New York, Part 3, 353-372, DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-3575-2_12
  4. Checa S, Prendergast PJ. (2009) Capillary network formation during tissue differentiation. A mechanobiological model. In: IFMBE Proceedings of 4th European Conference of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (Editors: J. Vander Sloten, P. Verdonck, M. Nyssen & J. Haueisen), Antwerp, Belgium, vol. 22, pp. 2195-2199
  5. Khayyeri H, Checa S, Tagil M, Prendergast PJ. (2009) Simulation of tissue differentiation in a mechanically loaded bone regeneration chamber. In: IFMBE Proc. of 4th European Conference of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (Editors: J. Vander Sloten, P. Verdonck, M. Nyssen & J. Haueisen), Antwerp, Belgium, vol. 22, pp. 2031-2034