Study shows ultrasound triggers bone cell mobility

July 18, 2012
Dr. Yi-Xian Qin, and Department of Biomedical Engineering graduate student, Jordan Rustad, look at evidence of changes in bone-forming cells as a result of exposure to ultrasound.

Research led by Yi-Xian Qin, PhD, Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Director of the Orthopaedic Bioengineering Research Laboratory at Stony Brook University, demonstrated that the use of medium-intensity focused ultrasound on osteoblasts, known as bone-forming cells, stimulates the mobility of the cells and triggers calcium release, a process that promotes growth.

The technique could provide a foundation for a method to develop non-pharmacologic treatments of osteoporosis, , and other conditions involving bone loss. The team’s research findings are detailed online in the PLoS One article “Mechanobiological Modulation of Cytoskeleton and Calcium Influx in Osteoblastic Cells by Short-Term Focused Acoustic Radiation Force.”
 
Musculoskeletal tissues, like bone and muscle, have a robust state of dynamic equilibrium in response to mechanical loading and respond to significant stimuli, such as exercise. Dr. Qin and Stony Brook colleagues Drs. Shu Zhang and Jiqi Cheng are investigating how (a bone-forming cell) respond to mechanical signals, such as ultrasound. In laboratory models of murine cells, the research team created a unique method to apply an ultrasound form called acoustic radiation force (ARF) for only one minute on a single osteoblastic cell and groups of cells. They consistently found that ARF through focused ultrasound beam induced cellular cytoskeletal rearrangement, the motility and mobility of the cells, and accelerated intracellular calcium transportations and concentrations.
 
Dr. Qin’s previous findings with ultrasound include the creation of an ultrasound bone scanning device that is more advanced than existing ultrasound technology and assesses bone parameters beyond mineral density. The device is being developed as a diagnostic tool to predict early bone loss. Dr. Qin and his research team is investigating ways to combine this potential diagnostic tool with the ARF technology in the laboratory to identify and fracture within a bone region, then provide treatment via ARF to promote growth and healing.

Explore further: Ultrasound being used to treat fractures

Related Stories

Ultrasound being used to treat fractures

October 13, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Ultrasound, the diagnostic tool first developed at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the 1950s to scan the body, is now being used in its fracture clinic to help heal fractured bones and speed up the recovery ...

A new method for more accurate assessment of osteoporosis

March 8, 2012

Laser-based measurements are proving to be a promising method for the assessment of osteoporosis. The team led by Professor Jussi Timonen has developed an ultrasound technique that use laser beams for a rapid and accurate ...

Recommended for you

Discovery offers new hope to repair spinal cord injuries

April 24, 2017

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes created a special type of neuron from human stem cells that could potentially repair spinal cord injuries. These cells, called V2a interneurons, transmit signals in the spinal cord to ...

Motion sickness drug worsens motion perception

April 24, 2017

A new study led by Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers found that oral promethazine, a drug commonly taken to alleviate motion sickness, temporarily worsened vestibular perception thresholds by 31 percent, lowering one's ...

Macrophages shown to be essential to a healthy heart rhythm

April 20, 2017

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-led research team has identified a surprising new role for macrophages, the white blood cells primarily known for removing pathogens, cellular debris and other unwanted materials. In ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.