Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Jennifer Currey




bone, healing, mouse, fracture, mechanical environment


Understanding the process of bone healing has become a fundamental part of medical research due to the approximately one million fractures which occur annually in the United States. The current methods of fracture fixation which use intramedullary rods, external fixators, and fracture plates are effective but not ideal. These fracture fixation methods can lead to mal-union or non-union due to improper callus formation stemming from inadequate fixation and support. When mal-union and non-union occur, the structural integrity of the bone becomes greatly sacrificed and the patient is left to deal with continual pain. Previous studies have suggested that the mechanical environment surrounding the fracture site can have a profound influence on healing rate and efficiency. Studies have shown that mechanically stimulating the fracture site using intermittent tensile strains can increase the rate of healing and also increase the effectiveness of healing. The amount of stimulation required to properly differentiate tissue formation and promote bone healing remains unknown. While some level of stimulation is known to have a positive influence on healing rates and efficiency, excess stimulation can inhibit healing and lead to improper tissue differentiation. Many qualitative theories seeking to characterize patterns of tissue differentiation have been established. These theories suggest that if the fracture site is over stimulated, tissues such as cartilage and fibro-cartilage may propagate and improperly overwhelm the fracture site. Since cartilage and fibro-cartilage do not possess a mechanical strength equal to that of bone, differentiation of these tissues at a fracture site is not ideal.