Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 2001 Aug 9;412(6847):603-4.

Anabolism. Low mechanical signals strengthen long bones.

Author information

Musculo-Skeletal Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York 11794-2580, USA.


Although the skeleton's adaptability to load-bearing has been recognized for over a century, the specific mechanical components responsible for strengthening it have not been identified. Here we show that after mechanically stimulating the hindlimbs of adult sheep on a daily basis for a year with 20-minute bursts of very-low-magnitude, high-frequency vibration, the density of the spongy (trabecular) bone in the proximal femur is significantly increased (by 34.2%) compared to controls. As the strain levels generated by this treatment are three orders of magnitude below those that damage bone tissue, this anabolic, non-invasive stimulus may have potential for treating skeletal conditions such as osteoporosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center