A proposed screening algorithm for bone remodeling

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One of the most remarkable aspects of human homeostasis is bone remodeling. This term denotes the continuous renewal of bone that takes place at a microscopic scale and ensures that our skeleton preserves its full mechanical compliance during our lives. We propose here that a renewal process of this type can be represented at an algorithmic level as the interplay of two different but related mechanisms. The first of them is a preliminary screening process, by means of which the whole skeleton is thoroughly and continuously explored. This is followed by a renovation process, whereby regions previously marked for renewal are first destroyed and then rebuilt, in such a way that global mechanical compliance is never compromised. In this work we pay attention to the first of these two stages. In particular we show that an efficient screening mechanism may arise out of simple local rules, which at the biological level are inspired by the possibility that individual bone cells compute signals from their nearest local neighbors. This is shown to be enough to put in place a process which thoroughly explores the region where such mechanism operates.
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