Finite Element Analysis of the Mouse Distal Femur with Tumor Burden in Response to Knee Loading

Feifei Jiang, Shengzhi Liu, Andy Chen, Bai-Yan Li, Alexander G. Robling, Jie Chen, Hiroki Yokota


Breast cancer-associated bone metastasis induces bone loss, followed by an increased risk of bone fracture. To develop a strategy for preventing tumor growth and protecting bone, an understanding of the mechanical properties of bone under tumor burden is indispensable. Using a mouse model of mammary tumor, we conducted finite element analysis (FEA) of two bone samples from the distal femur. One sample was from a placebo-treated mouse, and the other was from a mouse treated with the investigational drug candidate, PD407824, an inhibitor of checkpoint kinases. Mechanical testing and microCT images revealed that bone strength is improved by administration of PD407824. In response to loading to the knee, FEA predicted that the peaks of von Mises stress, an indicator of fracture yielding, as well as the third principal compressive stress, were higher in the placebo-treated femur than the drug-treated femur. Higher peak stresses in trabecular segments were observed in the lateral condyle, a critical region for integrity of the knee joint. Collectively, this FE study supports the notion that mechanical weakening of the femur was observed in the tumor-invaded trabecular bone, and chemical agents such as PD407824 may potentially assist in preventing bone loss and bone fracture.


Finite element analysis; Bone metastasis; Distal femur; Knee loading

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