Bone Adaptation as Level Set Motion

  • Bryce A. BeslerEmail author
  • Leigh Gabel
  • Lauren A. Burt
  • Nils D. Forkert
  • Steven K. Boyd
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11404)


Bone microarchitecture is constantly adapting to environmental and mechanical factors. Changes in bone density and structure can lead to an increase in fracture risk. Computational modeling of bone adaptation may provide insight into mitigating aging and preventing disease. In this paper, the adaptation of bone is modeled as a curve evolution problem. Curves can be evolved according to the level set method. The level set method models basic bone physiology by adapting bone according to appositional growth following a trajectory in time with a natural definition of homeostasis. A novel curvature based bone adaptation algorithm is presented for modeling bone atrophy. The algorithm is shown to be weakly equivalent to simulated bone atrophy. These results generalize surface-driven and strain-driven models of bone adaptation using a surface remodeling force. Physiological signals (hormones, mechanical strain, etc.) can be directly integrated into this surface remodeling force. Remodeling can be naturally restricted around foreign bodies (such as modeling adaptation around a surgical screw). Future work aims to identify the surface remodeling force from longitudinal image data.


Level set method Bone adaptation Cancellous bone Finite difference method 



B.A. Besler acknowledges support from Alberta Innovates Health Solutions and NSERC CGS-D.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryce A. Besler
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Leigh Gabel
    • 2
    • 4
  • Lauren A. Burt
    • 2
    • 4
  • Nils D. Forkert
    • 3
    • 4
  • Steven K. Boyd
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Biomedical Engineering Graduate ProgramUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint HealthUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Hotchkiss Brain InstituteUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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