Bone adaptation

Study level

Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/Lead unit

Queensland University of Technology

Science and Engineering Faculty

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Edmund Pickering
Postdoctoral Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Peter Pivonka
Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering and Spinal Disorders
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Bone is a dynamic living tissue which undergoes continuous remodeling and adaptation due to changes in the mechanical and hormonal environment. Current knowledge of bone remodelling is mainly based on experimental observations, and this limits the discovery of novel therapies for the treatment of bone diseases in particular osteoporosis.

This project aims to explore various aspects of bone adaptation due to mechanical loading and drug interventions using image postprocessing analysis tool together with biomechanics. Bone adaptation is accomplished by teams of bone forming cells (osteoblasts) and bone resorbing cells (osteoclasts). Our group has developed a variey of assessment tools including high resolution imaging and computational models of bone adaptation which take into account mechanical stimuli.  

The student will work on imging and computational modeling of bone samples that have undergone different treatments including mechanical loading or drug therapies. The computational models will include finite element simulations and MATLB simulations which can be coupled in a multiscale fashion. Image analysis will include image-postprocessing algorithms to extract cortical thickness and other morphological parameters. 

The expected outcomes of this project include:

  • imaging analysis tool for bone adaptation in cortical bone
  • simulation model of bone adaptation

Research activities

This project is well suited to students interested in biomedical engineering and biomechanics. You will be embedded in a highly active research environment with support from members of the Biomechanics and Spine Research Group (BSRG).

You will perform image postprocessing analysis using MATLAB in combination with finite element analysis using ANSYS or ABAQUS.


The outcome of the project will be the development of a bone adaptation algorithm.

Skills and experience

Good programming skills and MATLAB.



Contact the supervisor for more information.