Computational model of a synovial joint morphogenesis

Andrés Felipe Carrera-Pinzón, Kalenia Márquez-Flórez, Reuben H. Kraft, Salah Ramtani, Diego Alexander Garzón-Alvarado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Joints enable the relative movement between the connected bones. The shape of the joint is important for the joint movements since they facilitate and smooth the relative displacement of the joint’s parts. The process of how the joints obtain their final shape is yet not well understood. Former models have been developed in order to understand the joint morphogenesis leaning only on the mechanical environment; however, the obtained final anatomical shape does not match entirely with a realistic geometry. In this study, a computational model was developed with the aim of explaining how the morphogenesis of joints and shaping of ossification structures are achieved. For this model, both the mechanical and biochemical environments were considered. It was assumed that cartilage growth was controlled by cyclic hydrostatic stress and inhibited by octahedral shear stress. In addition, molecules such as PTHrP and Wnt promote chondrocyte proliferation and therefore cartilage growth. Moreover, the appearance of the primary and secondary ossification centers was also modeled, for which the osteogenic index and PTHrP–Ihh concentrations were taken into account. The obtained results from this model show a coherent final shape of an interphalangeal joint, which suggest that the mechanical and biochemical environments are crucial for the joint morphogenesis process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1389-1402
Number of pages14
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering

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