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Stimulation of Bone Repair with Ultrasound

Stimulation of Bone Repair with Ultrasound

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 880: 385-427

This chapter reviews the different options available for the use of ultrasound in the enhancement of fracture healing or in the reactivation of a failed healing process: LIPUS, shock waves and ultrasound-mediated delivery of bioactive molecules, such as growth factors or plasmids. The main emphasis is on LIPUS, or Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound, the most widespread and studied technique. LIPUS has pronounced bioeffects on tissue regeneration, while employing intensities within a diagnostic range. The biological response to LIPUS is complex as the response of numerous cell types to this stimulus involves several pathways. Known to-date mechanotransduction pathways involved in cell responses include MAPK and other kinases signaling pathways, gap-junctional intercellular communication, up-regulation and clustering of integrins, involvement of the COX-2/PGE2 and iNOS/NO pathways, and activation of the ATI mechanoreceptor. Mechanisms at the origin of LIPUS biological effects remain intriguing, and analysis is hampered by the diversity of experimental systems used in-vitro. Data point to clear evidence that bioeffects can be modulated by direct and indirect mechanical effects, like acoustic radiation force, acoustic streaming, propagation of surface waves, heat, fluid-flow induced circulation and redistribution of nutrients, oxygen and signaling molecules. One of the future engineering challenge is therefore the design of dedicated experimental set-ups allowing control of these different mechanical phenomena, and to relate them to biological responses. Then, the derivation of an 'acoustic dose' and the cross-calibration of the different experimental systems will be possible. Despite this imperfect knowledge of LIPUS biophysics, the clinical evidence, although most often of low quality, speaks in favor of the clinical use of LIPUS, when the economics of nonunion and the absence of toxicity of this ultrasound technology are taken into account.

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Accession: 058905828

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26486349

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-22536-4_21

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